French and Riviera News Thursday 20th August 2020


Nice: wearing a mask will be compulsory throughout the city from today - The prefect of the Alpes Maritimes has agreed following a request made by the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi on Wednesday, to make wearing a mask compulsory throughout the city from today.  A first in France, wearing a mask in Nice which was already compulsory in a large area will be extended to the whole city.

In a press release Estrosi said that  "To limit the spread of Covid-19 and in order to remain consistent in the fight against Covid-19 the wearing of a mask is to be compulsory everywhere in Nice” pointing out “that the number of fines issued by local police for not wearing a mask still exceeds 100 per day".

The obligation to wear a mask is gradually extending to wider areas in many cities in France. On Wednesday Toulouse was the first major city to announce that it would make the mask compulsory throughout the city, from Friday 21st August.

Professor Raoult speaks about the obligation of wearing a mask - Meanwhile infectious disease specialist Professor Didier Raoult has spoken of his concerns over the “effectiveness of the generalisation of the wearing of a mask”. In an interview with French media Raoult said that he "would have preferred that France remains at a level of recommendation rather than obligation". He went on to say that “the obligation to wear a mask could have harmful effects in society by causing "conflict".

The Marseille professor believes that the restrictions can be counterproductive saying that he is “afraid of the fear which is not justified” adding that “the more we panic, the less we treat."

According to Raoult, the increase in the number of cases is a direct consequence of the generalization of testing. He concludes that "the disease is no more deadly than others, its death rate is well below 2%." But the concern "comes from our lack of knowledge about the coronavirus”.

Record number of cases of Covid-19 since end of lockdown – The Directorate General of Health (DGS) announced on Wednesday, a record number of cases of Covid-19 since the end of lockdown, with 3,776 new cases in 24 hours.  On the other hand, hospitalisations due to the coronavirus have dropped slightly.

Outbreak coronavirus in Isola2000 - Twenty-two people have gone into 14-day quarantine after a coronavirus outbreak in Isola2000. A tourist who was at a private party last Thursday in the resort tested positive for the virus. According to the local mayor, 22 contacts of the person were all traced, have gone into quarantine and will be tested again today.

Mayor of Nice orders closure of bars in old town - The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has asked the Prefect of the Alpes Maritime to order the closure of five bars in Nice old town. The bars have received a final administrative warning from the Prefecture after checks on the enforcement of barrier measures were made last weekend. The Mayor has already written to French Prime Minister Jean Castex asking to be given the power, on an exceptional basis, to close establishments for 48 to 72 hours in which repeated breaches of sanitary rules have been observed.

Tour de France - During a press conference held in Nice on Wednesday the director of the Tour de France, Christian Prudhomme, has called on roadside spectators to wear a mask due to the increase in cases of coronavirus.

The organization also announced other precautionary measures in the context of the epidemic. For example the presentation of the teams, on August 27th, will be attended by a maximum of 1,750 people seated. A Covid cell of 15 people will be on hand, in conjunction with the Regional Health Agencies (ARS) and a mobile screening laboratory will be present throughout the Tour, "with results known within two hours maximum".

Cyclists will in particular be subjected to two tests before the start as well as each day of rest. "Bubbles" will be set up, for example for the teams and their management, to avoid contact with outsiders as much as possible.

The organizers also confirmed the end of the podiums "100% miss", a practice criticized and considered sexist.

President of the European Council cancels wedding in the Var due to Covid-19 - Former Belgian Prime Minister and President of the European Council Charles Michel, has reportedly had to cancel his wedding, which was due to take place on Saturday, August 22nd in the town of Montmeyan located not far from the Gorges du Verdon, in the Var. The reason being that the Var has been classified as a red zone by the Belgian authorities. French President Emmanuel Macron was expected to attend the ceremony.


Macron says that “France cannot be brought to a halt” - In an interview with "Paris Match", the French President Emmanuel Macron has said that despite an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in France “the country cannot be brought to a halt".

Speaking from the fort of Brégançon in the Var, where the Head of State is currently on holiday, Macron said he understood "the legitimate anxiety linked to Covid-19", But referred to the health policy which consists of "testing, tracing, isolating, organizing the emergency services, prevention and generalising the wearing of masks when necessary" which should in his view, make it possible to contain the epidemic.


Tech giant Apple has become the first US company to be valued at $2tn on the stock market. It reached the milestone just two years after becoming the world's first trillion-dollar company in 2018.

The performance is all the more notable as the iPhone maker had fallen below the threshold of 1,000 billion dollars in valuation at the end of last March. Apple is therefore currently worth nearly 110% of the CAC 40.


Facebook has won preliminary approval late on Wednesday from a federal court for settlement of a lawsuit that claimed it illegally collected and stored biometric data of millions of users without their consent.

Facebook allegedly violated the state’s law through its “Tag Suggestions” feature, which allowed users to recognize their Facebook friends from previously uploaded photos, according to the lawsuit, which began in 2015.

Jordan Belfort, the man whose rise and fall in the financial world inspired the "The Wolf of Wall Street" film, has signed up as a coach on the US investment advice website RagingBull.

The site - which itself has faced criticism over its marketing tactics - is geared towards amateur investors and has gained popularity amid a boom in amateur investing.

Mr Belfort made his fortune as a New York stockbroker in the 1980s and 1990s, working on major deals such as the public listing of the Steve Madden shoe company.

In 1999 he pleaded guilty to fraud after manipulating stock prices and cheating investors of some $200m (£150m). He later spent 22 months in prison for his crimes and was barred from the industry.

And - Life wearing a mask has prompted a shift in eye makeup sales. With eye expression needed to make a big impression.  

Eye makeup has been taking a larger proportion of prestige cosmetics sales during and after lockdown, according to analysts NPD.

With lips now often hidden behind a mask, makeup sales in that area are taking a lesser share of spending.


Football – Lyon supporters were left disappointed after last night's march saw Bayern Munich's relentless march through this season's Champions League continue as they brushed aside Lyon beating them 3-0. The results books the team an 11th appearance in the final of the competition and a showdown with Paris St-Germain.

Formula One - All 10 Formula One teams have signed up to the new Concorde Agreement which will govern Formula 1 from 2021 to 2025.

The contract, which sets out the commercial terms of the sport, was first introduced in 1981.

Ferrari, McLaren and Williams announced their support of the revised terms of racing on Tuesday, with the other seven constructors now following suit.

Rugby Union - Billy Vunipola says his Christian faith meant he was uncomfortable with the idea of taking a knee as part of the Premiership's anti-racism protest.

Vunipola, stood before Saracens' defeat by Bristol on Saturday, while the majority of his team-mates kneeled.

Speaking to reporters he said "Though I am a person of colour, I'm still more a person of Jesus”. 

Tennis - According to research by US business magazine Forbes. The world's nine highest-earning sportswomen over the past year are all tennis players,

Japan's Naomi Osaka tops the list with earnings of $37.4m, ahead of Serena Williams with $36m.


Mainly fine with some passing cloud along the coast to start with. Highs of 29 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 32 degrees in the Var with a light variable wind.

This evening going down to 21 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Antibes and 19 degrees in Toulon and Hyeres.

The outlook for Friday and the start of the weekend fine an sunny feeling slightly warmer with highs of 31 degrees in Cannes and reaching 36 degrees in Saint Tropez.


According to a new survey carried out in the UK a male Scottish accent has been voted the sexiest in the world.  Female singletons claim to love the "rugged' charm of a Scottish twang, describing their voice as "enchanting",

A male Scottish accent beat Spanish, Irish and Italian to the top spot as the British public cast their vote.

For females, a German accent was voted the sexiest in the world, closely followed by Irish and French.

A female Scottish accent was pipped to the post by Australian, South African and Welsh as it failed to even make the top ten.

Some 72 per cent of those surveyed agreed that Americans have the most undesirable accents in the world. A further 24 per cent of people admit they had been on a date with someone and had failed to understand their thick accent.

And 62 per cent of people have rejected someone on the basis of their accent.



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