French and Riviera News Thursday 30th December 2021

News

Bars and restaurants in Alpes Maritimes to stop serving at 1am on New Year's Eve - Bars and restaurants in the Alpes Maritimes will have to stop serving at 1am and close their doors at 2am on New Year's Eve, for the Var region the prefecture has announced the closure at 1am.

The prefecture of the Alpes Maritimes has announced several restrictions ahead of New Year's Eve to fight against the spread of covid, specifying that the mayors will not be able to derogate from this rule. "Any dancing activity in establishments open to the public as well as in public spaces is also prohibited," added the prefect in his press release.

In addition, the consumption of alcohol and food on public roads and places, with the exception of the terraces of bars and restaurants, will be prohibited until Sunday January 2nd at 6am. The Minister of the Interior had asked the prefects on Tuesday to take measures to "dissuade gatherings" on New Year's Eve in the face of the rise of the Omicron variant.

Meanwhile the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has said that as part of the restrictions already announced by the prefect the Christmas market in Nice will close early on New Year's Eve at 7pm.

Monaco – Meanwhile 96 new cases of covid have been identified in Monaco on Wednesday bringing the total number of residents affected since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,985. Thirty people are currently hospitalized, and six others are in intensive care. 385 people are being cared for by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Monaco's Minister of State H.E. Monsieur Pierre Dartout and several members of his family have tested positive for covid after returning from a holiday in the Alps. The government said that he is in confinement in accordance with the protocol in force in the Principality, and he and his family are doing well. The schedule of the Minister of State will be adjusted so that he can pursue his activities at a distance.

The Monaco government has said that because of health measures the Christmas village and the ice rink will close on New Year's Eve at 9:30 p.m. and reopen on New Year's Day from 11 a.m. There will be no New Year's Eve fireworks display this year.

Paris to return to wearing the mask outside - And faced with the rise of the Omicron variant and the multiplication of covid cases, the police prefecture in Paris has announced that it would make masks mandatory in public spaces in the French capital from tomorrow Friday 31st December.

Record 208,000 covid cases in France - On Wednesday France's health minister Olivier Véran justified transforming the current health pass into a vaccination pass from January 15th announcing the latest figures and new record recorded on Wednesday 29th December, of 208,000 cases in the last 24 hours". Veran added that the new figures "which make you dizzy" are a "new sad record and an increase from the 180,000 cases identified on Tuesday". The Minister of Health highlighted the spread of covid due to the Omicron variant, which "doubles every two or three days" with "two positive cases being identified every second in France".

Primary school pupils - Classes in French Primary school's where a positive case of covid has been diagnosed will have to present at least two negative tests, several days apart to be able to return to school. On Monday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex underlined that the start of the 2022 school year will take place as planned on 3rd of January, but Covid-19 screening will be extended in schools, adding that the closure of schools would be the government's "last resort".

Refusal of a residency card - An Australian and New Zealand national has been ordered to leave France within 30 days. The man who has been living on a barge in France since 2011 was issued the order after applying for a residency permit in June. 82-year-old Bryan Griffin a former pilot had applied for the residence permit at the prefecture in Meurthe-et-Moselle (Grand Est) but on December 23rd Griffin received a refusal and a notice ordering him to leave France within a month. Bryan Griffin held a UK residency permit between 2010 and 2019 but entered France in May 2011.

Marseille is the second most unfaithful city of France - Marseille is the second most unfaithful city in France according to a recent study. The study carried out by extraconjugales.com ranks Marseille after Paris but ahead of Lille. The study showed that 61% of women and 75% of men surveyed in Marseille would have already been unfaithful. The figures are higher that those nationally which claim 38% of French women in a couple have already been unfaithful at least once, compared to 58% of men. It also shows that 64% of French men and 57% of French women "believe that is it possible to cheat on your partner and still love them just as much".

It was French actress and singer Brigitte Bardot which sang one of the first popular songs in France in 1964 about infidelity entitled "Ceil de lit" with the lyrics "I have a lover for the day and a husband for the night I have a lover for love and a husband for life".

Business

There will be an increase in train passengers for the first weekend of the year. Some 475,000 passengers are expected by the SNCF between Friday and Sunday for the last weekend of the Christmas holidays, 14% more than in 2018, said the railway operator.  A total of 1623 TGV and Ouigo will circulate over the period, according to the SNCF, which does not expect "any notable cancellations". Meanwhile Air France says it expects 185,000 passengers on board 1,385 flights on January 1st and 2nd, 60% more travellers than for the first weekend of 2021.

According to Bloomberg, Apple has awarded stock bonuses of between $50,000 and $180,000 to some of its engineers. The shares are sold for a period of four years. The objective is to retain its employees tempted to join the technological rivals.

Elon Musk has rejected claims that his Starlink satellite internet project is taking up too much room in space. Speaking to the Financial Times Musk said that "tens of billions" of satellites can be accommodated in orbits close to Earth.  This week, China complained that its space station was forced to avoid collisions with Starlink satellites.

Sport

Football – There is no stopping Manchester City although their manager Pep Guardiola says the Premier League title race "is far from over" despite seeing his side end 2021 eight points clear at the top of the table after victory over Brentford last night winning 1-0. In the other Premier League game on Wednesday Chelsea draw against Brighton 1-1.

Tennis - World number one Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from Serbia's ATP Cup team. There remains uncertainty over whether the 34-year-old will compete at the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on 17th January. All players and staff at the 2022 Australian Open must be vaccinated or have a medical exemption granted by an independent panel of experts. However, defending champion Djokovic has not spoken publicly about his vaccination status.

Cricket - All-rounder Chris Woakes has backed Joe Root to continue as England Test captain despite the crushing defeat in the Ashes series in Australia. The huge loss in the third Test put Australia 3-0 up with two Tests to play, meaning Root has not won any of his three Ashes series in charge. The fourth Test in Sydney will be his 60th as captain, an England record.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 17 degrees in Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Saint Tropez. This evening going down to 9 degrees and clear skies.

The outlook for New Year's Eve remaining fine with highs of 17 across the Riviera. New Year's Day – Sunny intervals and highs of 13 degrees in the Var and 16 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes.

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