French and Riviera News Thursday 23rd April 2020

 

Coronavirus - 21,340 people have died in France from Covid 19. 544 deaths have been reported since Tuesday 21st April. Health authorities have confirmed however, that the number of cases admitted to hospital continues to progressively drop. On a national level 5,218 people are  in intensive care, 2,000 less than two weeks ago.

For the region there was a slight rise in the number of cases at midday on Wednesday. After several days, of what was described as a rather "stable" situation, along with a drop in the number of cases in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var, Wednesday saw a rise in cases return. 6 cases were reported in the Alpes Maritimes and 17 in the Var, the most significant rise since April 13th. 

In Monaco no new cases were reported on Wednesday with the number of cases remaining at 94. 

Meanwhile the President of the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Region, Renaud Muselier, has said that a first batch of 5 million masks delivered from China will be distributed to health workers and security personnel. One million of the masks will be given to small municipalities of less than 20,000 residents in the PACA region. He said that by the end of May, he expected 25 million masks to have been delivered to the region.

End of lockdown - The Elysee has announced that President Macron will hold a video conference this morning with 15 mayors from across France. Although not confirmed by the Elysee, local reports suggest that the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, and the Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, will participate. The meeting is part of President Macron's fact finding mission in preparation for the gradual deconfinement in France from the 11 May. President Macron will also hold a separate video conference on Friday which will concentrate on plans for the tourism, leisure, hotel and restaurant sectors.

Prime Minister denies rumors of reopening of restaurants - Meanwhile the French Prime Minister denied on Wednesday, rumors suggesting that restaurants in France will be able to reopen from the 15th June.

While the end of lockdown is set for May 11th, with, the gradual reopening of schools, some places will remain closed until further notice and Matignon confirms that this is the case for restaurants, for which no date has yet been disclosed.

Meanwhile the industry’s union says that “a reopening in mid-June would be necessary in order to save the summer season”.

Travel - As the French government works to publish a detailed plan of how lockdown measure may progressively be lifted from May 11th in France, there is a possibility that some travel restrictions will remain.

While wanting t