French and Riviera News Thursday 12th March 2020


Coronavirus update - According to the Regional Health Agency the number of people affected by the coronavirus reached 32, with 9 new cases in the Alpes-Maritimes.

To date there have been 48 deaths in France, and 2,281 cases.

In the South , 112 people tested positive including 46 in Bouches-du-Rhône, 14 in Hautes-Alpes, 13 in the Var, 4 in the Vaucluse and 3 people in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Among these cases, six people are in intensive care.

In Italy the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Wednesday evening the closure of businesses except those in the food distribution and health sectors, in an attempt to stem the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Conte added, however, that public transport would not be interrupted. Likewise, "industries and factories will be able to continue to produce as long as they take appropriate security measures”.

Giuseppe Conte had already announced on Tuesday strict measures of containment of the population, with a restriction of the freedom of movement and a ban on assembly for the 60 million Italians, in force until April 3.

Behind China, Italy is the second country in the world most affected by the pandemic, with 827 dead and 12,462 cases.

To try to avoid a collapse of the third European economy, asphyxiated by the new coronavirus, Rome announced on Wednesday the release of an envelope of 25 billion euros. It also decided on a postponement on the repayment of home loans.

Cruise ships banned from the Principality - The Monegasque government has announced that due to the coronavirus all cruise ships have been banned from docking in Monegasque territorial waters until April 30th.

The measure comes ahead of the first boat, which was expected on March 23rd at Port Hercule. 25 more were planned to dock during the month of April, a traffic which would represent in total between 15,000 and 20,000 passengers.

“Info virus” at Nice University - Meanwhile here in Nice, Nice University has set up a special unit on its campus. “Info virus” will twice a day attempt to calm concerns on the current coronavirus outbreak and ensure continuity in education.

The unit relays national instructions and hopes to answer questions from staff and students.

Carrefour promotes DIY masks following the shortage of medical ones - Carrefour Nice TNL located in Riquier has reportedly been accused of creating a "Bad buzz" on social media after promoting “DIY masks” following the recent shortage of “medical masks” due to the coronavirus. The work site accessory which does not protect against the coronavirus epidemic, were on offer at “1 euro for five masks”.

Management of the supermarket chain in Paris commented on the incident declaring that "This kind of promotion was not appropriate in the current context."

Contacted, the management of the store in Nice added that "The masks had been returned to their place, to the DIY department,". The group said it had been "a regrettable error" and "apologised".

Drug dealers arrested - Police in the Var have arrested two young drug dealers in La Gabelle district of Frejus.

The two aged 20 and 14 years old were caught while occupying the stairwell of a building. They had reportedly set up an improvised “shop” where timetables and prices of products available were openly displayed.

The police are tirelessly fighting against the drug trafficking which is rampant in the La Gabelle district of Fréjus.

Rodeo in Nice - Police in Nice are currently fighting a new trend of illegal rodeos which are taking place in the industrial area of Carros. Up to 200 drivers and their vehicles meet on a weekly basis, almost every Friday night. Police are trying to combat the dangerous activity with a road safety squadron being regularly deployed.

Harry’s Bar set to open in Cannes - It's official! from June 2020, the oldest cocktail bar in Europe, the Harry’s Bar, will open in Cannes in the heart of Port Canto. The emblematic establishment already established in Paris, will open its doors and 150 square metre terrace where customers can enjoy Cuban cocktails at the water’s edge.


Jail - Two men who impersonated a French minister to trick wealthy people out of more than €55m have been jailed by a court in Paris.

The two conned their victims by impersonating Jean-Yves Le Drian, often wearing a silicone mask. They denied fraud and usurping Mr Le Drian's identity but were found guilty.


US President Donald Trump has announced sweeping new travel restrictions including a ban on flights from Europe excluding the UK for 30 days.

Addressing the nation from the Oval Office for only the second time since he came to power ,Mr Trump said that to keep new cases of coronavirus entering America’s shores ,all travel from Europe would be suspended from Friday.<