French and Riviera News Thursday 9th September 2020


President of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur reacts to comments from the Scientific Council - The president of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Renaud Muselier, has asked that “measured and balanced” decisions are taken in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region concerning Covid-19, fearing “exemplary sanctions” will be implemented in an area which was singled out by the Scientific Council during a press conference on Wednesday.

On Wednesday the president of the Scientific Council Jean-François Delfraissy, described the current level of Covid-19 in France as "worrying" adding that the government "will be forced to take a number of difficult decisions" "within a maximum of eight to ten days". He warned that "We can be falsely reassured" because the increase in the circulation of the virus has "little current impact" on the healthcare system, but there may be "a very rapid, increase" pointing "in particular" to the situation in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.

Following the comments Renaud Muselier stated that “last spring it was indeed the president of the Scientific Council  who said not to wear masks, to be tested when possible and to never treat patients with hydroxychloroquine” adding “and now we must listen? as he threatens the region”. He concluded that this was “out of the question” and that all decisions taken by the government must be “measured and balanced in order to be accepted and respected” and he therefore asks the “government to not make the region return to lockdown”.

The president of the PACA said that he hopes that at the defence meeting to be held tomorrow Friday 11th September   there will be “no general sanctions” but plans to increase “controls in places where people gather, with bars, restaurants, theatre’s and cinemas able to remain open”.

Regional figures Covid-19 - The health situation for the Alpes Maritimes region currently shows that:

  • 15 people are in intensive care (with on average one new admission daily since September 2nd).
  • Since the beginning of the pandemic 1,332 people have been admitted to hospital in the Alpes Maritimes (including 14 in the last 24 hours).
  • 201 people have died from Covid-19 in the Alpes Maritimes (including two in the last 24 hours).
  • And 962 people have recovered.

In the Var since the beginning of the epidemic:

  • 1,251 people have been hospitalised (including 10 in the last 24 hours).
  • 172 people have been admitted to intensive care (including one in the last 24 hours).
  • 146 people have died from Covid-19 (including one in the last 24 hours).
  • And 1,097 people have recovered.

Monaco – Meanwhile in Monaco on Wednesday five new cases of Covid-19 have been declared bringing the total number of residents affected to 161.

National figures for Covid-19 - On a national level recent figures show an additional 8,577 cases of Covid-19 bringing the total number of cases to 344,101.

644 clusters are currently being investigated. 2,157 people are currently hosptialised of which 372 are in intensive care and 30,794 people have fallen victim to Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic with 30 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Class closes at primary school in Sospel - Following positive cases of Covid-19 a class at the primary school of Sospel has had to close. Three CE1 pupils tested positive for Covid-19 leading to the Regional Health Agency closing the class as of today for an indefinite period.

Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival cancelled - Organisers of the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival, chaired by Princess Stéphanie, have announced the cancellation of the event due to health and safety and Covid-19.

In other news

Road accident - Four people have been seriously injured in a road accident on the RN 568 in Port du Bouc 44km west of Marseille in the Bouches du Rhone.

Two cars collided head-on shortly after 3pm on Wednesday. Two of the injured were airlifted to hospital in Marseille, the other two, including an 18-month-old baby were taken to the local hospital. Traffic was stopped in both directions.

Drug trafficking - Police in Marseille have dismantled a major network of drug traffickers. Five individuals were arrested. Two assault rifles, ammunition, cannabis and 3,000 euros were also seized.

Complaint filed against mayor of Nice - The Human Rights League and some 50 Chechen nationals have filed a complaint against the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi for "racial public slander". The complaint comes following comments which were made by the mayor at the end of July, just days after violent clashes in the Liserons district of Nice.


Partial unemployment - The French government has announced the introduction of a partial unemployment measure for employees forced to look after their children and unable to telework. Measures are also planned for the self-employed and civil servants.

On Wednesday it was announced that a partial unemployment measure will be put in place for French employees forced to look after their children and unable to telecommute due to the coronavirus crisis making it possible  "to benefit from a replacement income from the first day of stopping work until the end of the period of isolation".

Mayor of Lyon slams the Tour de France - In an interview with the daily French newspaper “Le Progrès” the mayor of Lyon Grégory Doucet, has criticised the Tour de France saying that it “continues to convey a macho image of sport," adding that "When we defend the values ​​of sport, we defend equality between men and women yet, there is still no women's Tour de France”

Doucet also wonders about "the ecological footprint of the Tour" claiming that the event "was not eco-responsible" concluding that it is "no longer acceptable to have major sporting events whose first priority is not to ask the question of their footprint". The mayor’s comments come as the 14th stage of the Tour de France is due to arrive in Lyon on Saturday.

Musée d’Orsay - The Musée d'Orsay in Paris has “apologised” after refusing entry to a woman because of her cleavage.

In an open letter to the museum the woman writes “naked women hang on the walls, but no cleavage is allowed in the aisles of the Musée d'Orsay?

The incident reportedly occurred on Tuesday when an agent in charge of controlling reservations refused the woman entry and asked her to cover up by wearing a jacket she was carrying.

The Musée d'Orsay has since evoked an "incident" on Twitter. Saying "We deeply regret it and apologise to the person concerned".


A report by Bloomberg says that the European Union is studying the possibility of legal action against the UK over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to breach the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Bloomberg says that the EU may have a case to seek legal remedies under the Withdrawal Agreement even before fresh controversial provisions in the UK Internal Market Bill are passed through parliament and would have clear justification once the bill becomes law.

Mr Johnson is facing a backlash from EU diplomats and sections of his own ruling Conservativr Party after the UK government said that it was willing to break international law over its commitments to the Irish Border.

An emergency meeting to discuss the crisis is to be held on Thursday with no signs that either party is willing to give ground.

The pound erased gains from earlier in the trading session on Wednesday after the news broke.

The developments have also sparked a warning from Washington with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying that there would be “absolutely no chance” of a UK-US trade deal if Mr Johnson’s actions threatened peace in Northern Ireland.


The International Air Transport Association has said that shipping a coronavirus vaccine around the world will be the largest transport challenge ever.

The IATA  says that the equivalent of 8,000 Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets will be needed to accomplish the task on the basis of one dose per person.

The IATA is already working with airlines ,airports ,global health authorities and drug firms to put together a global airlift programme for the vaccines.

Not all planes are suitable for moving vaccines as they need a typical temperature range of between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius  and some vaccines might require frozen temperatures which would exclude a number of craft.

The IATA also said that shifting vaccines across Africa would be impossible at the moment given the lack of cargo capacity ,the size of the region and the complexities of border crossings.


And-Two of America’s biggest shopping mall owners have agreed to take on the retail operations of JC Penney to save the department chain from closing.

Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners say that they would keep the majority of JC Penney stores open ,potentially saving up to 70,000 jobs.

JC Penney had some 850 sites and employed 80,000 people when it filed for bankruptcy in May.

The firm has been under pressure for a number of years owing to increased competition from rivals and online shopping. The coronavirus pandemic has hastened the decline forcing store closures in more than 150 locations.


Cycling-Caleb Ewan of Australia won stage 11 of the Tour de France on Wednesday in a sprint finish in Poitiers.

It’s Ewan’s second stage victory in this year’s Tour as he held off the challenge of Peter Sagan who was later relegated to last and docked 13 sprint points for unfairly muscling out Wout van Aert.

Sam Bennett of Ireland was promoted to second and leads the sprint points classification by 68 points from Sagan.

Primo Roglic retains th