French and Riviera News Thursday 5th August 2021

News

France is moved from amber-plus to amber - Fully vaccinated passengers returning to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from France will no longer need to quarantine. The measure, which will come into force on Sunday August 7th, will not however apply to travellers from the Island of the Reunion and Mayotte, which are both placed on the red list.

Under widespread changes to the traffic light system for travel, France is being moved by the UK from amber-plus to amber. The British government announced the easing on Wednesday evening. The measure which had been imposed three weeks ago, had been denounced as “discriminatory” by Paris but had been justified by Prime Minister Boris Johnson due to the “persistent” presence of the Beta variant in France. There will still be a quarantine obligation of between five and ten days for travellers from France who are not vaccinated.  

Corisca announces new measures to limit the spread of Covid - Meanwhile faced with the rapid spread of covid, health authorities in Corsica have announced new measures to limit the spread. From today Thursday 5th August, bars and restaurants are to close at 1am and wearing a mask is mandatory. At the same time, health authorities are calling for an increase in vaccination to avoid saturation in the hospitals. In a statement the Prefect Pascal Lelarge, said that “the main goal is to limit the gatherings between different age groups”. He added that "there is a big difference in contamination between age groups. Between 12 and 30 years old, there is an extremely high level of contamination, which is almost 2,000 per 100,000 inhabitants”. As for village festivities and festive events, such as fireworks, these will be subject to authorization from the Prefect. The measures will be in place until at least August 15th.

Latest data from Public Health France - According to data published by Public Health France on Wednesday August 4th, more than 8,000 people are hospitalized in France with covid, including nearly 1,400 in intensive care.

In detail French hospitals have admitted 8,134 Covid patients, including 772 hospitalized in the past 24 hours. In intensive care units the pressure is also increasing with 1,371 registered patients, including 157 in 24 hours. The number of daily deaths in hospitals is also on the rise with 53 deaths in one day.

Monaco – Meanwhile in Monaco 14 new cases of covid have been identified on Wednesday, with the total number of residents affected since the start of the pandemic standing at 2,940. 18 people are currently in hospital including five in intensive care. 101 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Service.

France’s Constitutional Council to render its decision today - Meanwhile France’s Constitutional Council will today Thursday 5th August render its decision concerning the health bill adopted by Parliament and relating to the extension of the health pass. The bill has caused controversy amongst the French as it amongst other things, seeks to restrict access to places open to the public, as well as compulsory vaccination for staff in health establishments. The Constitutional Council will meet this morning, and the session will continue for a good part of the day. A decision, meanwhile, should be taken by mid-afternoon.

Didier Raoult publishes video questioning the use of Vicks Vaporub - Infectious disease specialist and director general of the IHU in Marseille and a highly publicized public figure on the Covid front, Didier Raoult, has published a video asking why “the French are not recommended to use, amongst other things, Vicks Vaporub, petroleum jelly to protect themselves from Covid-19”.

In a 17-minute video, Raoult notably lists a list of products which he is surprised have not been tested to examine the possible effect on the virus. Meanwhile the brand, which belongs to an American group, reacted on Twitter saying that "As specified in the package leaflet, VapoRub should only be applied to the chest and throat to relieve a cough, and to muscles and joints for aches and pains. It should not be applied either under the nose or in the nose, mouth, or ingested". "An oily product can enter the lungs if it is misused".

In other news 

Man shot by police in Marseille after he refuses to stop at police check - A young man has been shot dead by police in Marseille. An investigation has been opened concerning the shooting which occurred on Wednesday evening shortly before 7pm. The young man killed had refused to stop at a police check before hitting an officer with his vehicle.

Spanish authorities searching for Frenchman who threw cigarette butt out of car window - A Frenchman is wanted in Catalonia after throwing his cigarette butt out of a car window. Filmed at the time of the incident, the owner of the vehicle was identified by the Spanish authorities thanks to his number plate. With the region on a high fire risk alert the police are still looking for the perpetrator who faces a 200 euro fine.

French government fined for failing to reduce air pollution - France's top administrative court has fined the government a record sum for failing to reduce air pollution to acceptable levels. The Council of State on Wednesday August 4th saw the Council of State issue its highest fine ever, 10 million euros, on President Emmanuel Macron's government, warning it would do so again within months if the authorities fail to act quickly to combat smog. In 2020 the council ruled that the government had failed to implement a court order dating from 2017 to curb air pollution levels, and gave it six months to take corrective action or face a 10-million-euro fine every six months until air quality improves. With the six-month deadline having elapsed, the Council is now implementing its threat.

Beaches in Saint-Cyr closed temporarily - Beaches of the Madrague district in Saint Cyr in the Var have been closed temporarily on Wednesday due to a spillage from the nearby port. The mayor announced the preventative measure as work was carried out to clean up the affected beaches and reopen them as soon as possible.

Shops offer discount to those vaccinated - Five shops at the Cagnes-sur-Mer outdoor shopping center Polygone Riviera have offered discounts for people who have received one or two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Initiatives have been taken around the world to encourage people to get vaccinated. The discount encouraging shoppers to get vaccinated was launched on July 31st.

Business

TikTok is reportedly testing a new vanishing clips feature similar to functions on Snapchat and Instagram. The video sharing platform TikTok Stories allow users to see content posted by accounts they follow for 24 hours before they are deleted. The trial come as WhatsApp rolls out a feature for users to post photos or videos that vanish after they are seen. TikTok, has not yet officially announced the feature but is understood to be making it available to some users as it experiments with its functions.

Shares in the trading platform Robinhood have surged, amid speculation the firm could be seeing the same frenzied trading that surrounded the video game retailer Gamestop. The stock climbed as much as 82% on Wednesday August 4th. Robinhood's commission-free trading has proved hugely popular with amateur traders during lockdown, with the number of account holders doubling to 31 mil