French and Riviera News Thursday 14th January 2021


French government to announce new restrictions this evening - French Prime Minister Jean Castex will this evening announce decisions taken by the government following Wednesday's defence council meeting. At 6pm Castex is expected to give an update on the health situation in France along with new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, as well as plans to try and contain the more aggressive strain of the virus which is now circulating in France, with cases being detected in the Alpes-Maritimes and also the Var. According to reports two family clusters in Biot and Fréjus have been identified, in both cases, it was a young man in his twenties, studying in the UK who upon his return to the region infected those around him.

Health authorities have said that the health situation in France has not improved over the last weeks, with numbers of new cases hovering around 20,000, although the rate of infection has remained stable. A new full lockdown is not favoured by the government and Castex is likely to announce stricter measures with the new curfew of 6pm, which currently affects 25 departments, being extended throughout France. There is also the possibility of a lockdown at weekends and a limit on travel between regions, for those departments the worst affected.

Vaccination - As far as the vaccination campaign is concerned France started vaccinating elderly people in nursing homes as well as staff on 26th December. Phase 2 of the campaign started in January, with health professionals over 50 and on Monday 18th January, all people over 75 will be able to be vaccinated. However, the campaign for this age group has started earlier in the Alpes Maritimes with the first vaccinations being carried out on Wednesday for the over 75s. According to the medical platform Doctolib the rest of the population will have to wait “until spring”. On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron, reacted to criticism of the vaccination campaign in France saying that “those who say it’s not going fast enough should note that the government is acting responsibly and that it takes longer than a tweet”.

Monaco - In Monaco, the vaccination campaign is already underway with the elderly in nursing homes, residents over 75 and those between 65 and 74 years old with comorbidities. For any questions about the vaccination campaign you can call +377 92 05 55 00 from 8am to 8pm or go to the website.

On Wednesday, the Principality declared 33 new cases of Covid-19 bringing the total number of residents affected to 1,128. Twenty-nine people are currently hospitalized and 122 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Center.

Rentals to be prohibited – The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, has said that he has requested from the Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes a decree prohibiting seasonal rentals in the region for the upcoming February holidays. Estrosi added that if the state refuses to do so, the city of Nice will pass a municipal by-law. He also said that "faced with the worrying situation of the department and Nice in terms of health", he would like reinforced protection measures on travel for the February holidays.

Rail traffic interrupted for four hours – In other news, rail traffic in the region has been interrupted after a man had installed himself on the tracks not far from the station in Antibes. The incident occurred at 4pm on Wednesday with trains halted in both directions for four hours while emergency service intervened. As a precaution power was cut and coaches were made available to passengers as an alternative.

Investigation - An investigation has been opened against the French Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti for alleged "illegal taking of interest". The investigation centres around allegations of conflicts of interest in connection with his former role as lawyer. The minister has previously denied the accusations.

Recycling programme - A Christmas tree recycling programme in Nice has resulted in the collection of 3,400 trees. Deputy Mayor of Nice Pierre-Paul Leonelli said that the collected trees would produce five tonnes of compost and thanked local residents for their participation.


New York City has announced that it’s cutting its financial ties with the Trump Organisation, joining a growing list of corporations who are turning their back on the US President who was impeached for a second time on Wednesday. The firm has contracts with New York City to run two skating rinks, a carousel and a golf course. On Wednesday, the May