French and Riviera News Thursday 4th November 2021


Schools in the Var to return to wearing a mask from Monday - Those heading back to school on Monday November 8th in the Var region will once again be required to wear a mask. The region is one of 39 in France, which due to an incidence rate rising above 50 will have to reintroduce the measure. According to figures from Public Health France, the incidence rate in the Var department currently shows 54 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Pickpocketing on public transport in Nice - Two women have been found guilty of theft following a hearing at the Criminal Court of Nice this week. The individuals were accused of pickpocketing on the tram in Nice, targeting tourists and the elderly. Both have denied the accusations. Police have recently warned of a rise in thefts on public transport in Nice, calling for members of the public to be extremely vigilant.

Drunk patient escapes hospital at the wheel of an ambulance - A patient of the Louis Raffelli hospital in Manosque north of Aix en Provence, had escaped the establishment at the wheel of an ambulance. Under the influence of alcohol, the fifty-year-old who had been admitted earlier in the day made his escape shortly before midnight while firefighters were attending to an incident on site. His escape was short-lived after he hit a pole a few metres away. Taken into custody and since released police have opened an investigation.

Job offers on the rise in Saint Tropez - According to Pôle emploi, the number of job offers available in the Gulf of Saint Tropez in the Var has increased sharply this year compared to 2019, up by 37%. The director of the state employment agency "pole emploi" in Saint Tropez says that from January to October of this year 4,316 offers were registered. Which is the same number for the whole of 2019.

La poste are recruiting - Swiss Post is recruiting 6,000 seasonal workers for the end-of-year celebrations, including 500 in the Sud-Paca Region. Responsible for processing and distributing packages La poste has invited applicants to apply by going to

Fight against the regulations of helicopter flights and landings in and around Ramatuelle - The association "Ciel calme pour Ramatuelle" in the Var, has announced its intention to attack the law regulating the landing of helicopters in the area. Represented by former Environment Minister Corinne Lepage, the association has already set in motion plans to change the legislation in the fight against noise pollution generated by helicopters. In 2019 ninety-eight daily flights were reported, exceeding the authorised annual 200.

Nice to Tenerife - The airline EasyJet has resumed its route between Nice and Tenerife. You can now fly from Nice to Tenerife and enjoy the largest island in the Canary Islands under the winter sun, with two flights a week from 29€ one way.

Snowfall in the Mercantour - After the first snowflakes on Saturday, resorts in the Mercantour experienced a second snowfall on Wednesday November 3rd on the summits of Auron and Isola 2000.  As a reminder, the ski areas of both resorts will open every day from December 4th and the previous weekend (November 27 and 28) until April 18th, 2022. In addition, a seasonal employment forum is being held today Thursday 4th November in Carros, from 9am to 1pm. Free admission and the health pass is mandatory.

Envibus users in Antibes sign petition - Users of the Envibus line in Antibes have signed a petition demanding more frequency. Since the beginning of the school year the bus line has been full, especially during rush hour. A situation which has caused havoc for commuters from Antibes to Sophia Antipolis. Changes have been announced for November 8th.

Former employee accuses laboratory that conducted trials on 1,000 people of making several mistakes - A subcontractor of the pharmaceutical group Pfizer, Ventavia, responsible for conducting a small part of the clinical trials of its vaccine against covid, is suspected of having committed several shortcomings during tests, according to an article in the British Medical Journal published on Tuesday 2 November. 

The magazine cites a former Ventavia employee, Brook Jackson, who worked there for two weeks during the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine trials, before being fired. Jackson accuses Ventavia of mislabeling during the trials, conducted in double-blind (which consists of injecting the product, placebo or vaccine, without either the doctor or the patient knowing what is injected). She also mentions the fact that the vaccines were not stored at the right temperature. The former employee says she reported it to the U.S. health authorities, the FDA, which she said did not follow up.

Ventavia played only a small role in the trials of this vaccine, developed by Pfizer with the German BioNTech. The Texas group has conducted tests in a thousand people, while the vaccine has, in total, been evaluated on about 44,000 people around the world. These trials, testifying to a particularly high efficacy, have led to the authorization of the vaccine in many countries, such as the United States and the countries of the European Union.

Angela Merkel presented with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour - For her last visit to France as Chancellor, Angela Merkel has been decorated for her longevity as head of Germany, and to highlight the friendly relationship between the two countries French President Emmanuel Macron presented the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour to Angela Merkel in Beaune on Wednesday evening.

In recent months, the French President has paid tribute to Merkel on several occasions, praising the "commitment", "patience" and "ability to listen" of the Chancellor with whom he has worked closely on the European scene. Because, according to him, "Europe cannot move forward if Germany and France do not agree".

Campaign for future parents - Public Health France has launched a campaign for future parents to provide answers to their questions. "The first 1,000 days" campaign is intended to answer the questions of young parents or future parents, from eating habits to safety issues.


French government spokesman Gabriel Attal has announced that a meeting will be held in Brussels on Friday 5th November at the European Commission over the fisheries dispute following Brexit. Following today's meeting in Paris between the British Brexit Secretary David Frost and Clément Beaune Secretary of State for European Affairs Attal made it clear that it is a "European matter and that therefore the meeting at the European Commission is very important with no possible outcome or implementation of sanctions being announced until the meeting has been held with the European Commission".

There was euphoria on the Paris Stock Exchange, where records were set two days in a row. Driven by the influx of liquidity on the markets and the improvement in the health situation, the CAC 40 beat an all-time record at the close on Tuesday 2 November, reaching 6,927.03 points. The next day, it broke its all-time session record of 6,949.57 points. 

The president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde has said that it's "very unlikely" that there will be a rise in key rates in 2022. Speaking on Wednesday Lagarde said that despite the current inflationary surge in the euro zone, the "medium-term inflation outlook remains modest" so that "the conditions for a rise in rates" will not be met next year". The ECB wants to maintain favourable financing conditions for households and businesses so as not to jeopardise the still fragile recovery.

According to INSEE, the exceptional measures deployed to support households during the health crisis in France have made it possible to stabilize the income poverty rate, at 14.6% of the population in 2020. The first INSEE estimate published on Wednesday is somewhat reassuring as despite the health crisis, the income poverty rate remained stable in 2020, at 14.6% of the population. This means that 9.3 million people have a standard of living below 1063 euros per month in France, a threshold corresponding to 60% of the median standard of living. Income inequality also remained stable last year compared to 2019.

Ikea is to raise prices as the disruption to global supply chains is expected to last into next year. On Wednesday, Ikea reported a drop in full-year profit due to higher transport and raw material costs. Businesses have been struggling with supply chain problems as economies recover from the Covid pandemic.

The SNCF is turning the page on cardboard tickets. Already overtaken by digital formats on smartphones, the broad-based ticket known for decades in France will therefore disappear from self-service terminals.


Football - Liverpool have brushed aside Atletico Madrid and swept into the last 16 of the Champions League with a comfortable 2-0 win. The result has ensured that Liverpool finish top of Group B. Meanwhile Manchester City sealed an easy win against Club Bruges winning 4-1.

Tennis - British men's number one Cameron Norrie stayed in the hunt for an ATP Finals spot with a straight-set victory over American Reilly Opelka in Paris. Norrie will face Taylor Fritz, in the last 16.

Cycling - Great Britain's Alex Dowsett fell short in his attempt to break cycling's hour record for men a second time. 33-year-old Dowsett held the record for a month in 2015 before fellow Briton Sir Bradley Wiggins bettered his mark.


Sunny with clear skies, highs of 17 degrees with a gentle breeze in Nice, Vence and Cannes. This evening going down to 7 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend - Fine with highs of 16-18 degrees across the region with moderate winds. Scattered showers are forecast for Sunday.

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