French and Riviera News Tuesday 11th May 2021


French Prime Minister details the next stages of the progressive end to lockdown in France - French Prime Minister Jean Castex has given details of the next stages in the progressive end to lockdown in France. Castex clarified on Monday May 10th the rules which will apply to the reopening of restaurant terraces, shops, cinemas and museums from May 19th. 

From May 19th 

• For restaurants, cafes and bars, terraces will reopen at 50% of their capacity, with tables available for a maximum of six people seated.

• For shops. All stores considered non-essential during the lockdown period will in turn be able to reopen. One customer at a time will be allowed in stores of less than 8 m2, and a minimum of 8 m2 per customer will be required for stores with a larger surface area. The rule will be the same for open markets and will be 4 m2 per person for outdoor markets.

• For museums. 8 m2 per person is also planned for the reopening of the museums.

• For cinemas and theatres. They will be able to welcome the public with a maximum capacity of 35% and a limit of 800 spectators.

• For religious ceremonies and civil weddings. These ceremonies can take place with only one in three seats occupied.

• For sports halls and swimming pools. These establishments will be able to reopen for those considered a priority, such as school children. For the public access will be limited to 35% of the capacity.

From June 9th

• For restaurants, cafes and bars, the terraces can reopen entirely, with however the continuation of six people seated maximum. Indoors will also be able to reopen, with a capacity of 50% and tables of six people seated maximum.

• For shops and museums, the space per customer changes from 8 m2 to 4 m2 and is lifted for outdoor markets.

• For cinemas and theatres. Reception capacity will increase from 35% to 65% with a limit of 5,000 and from 1,000 people, a health pass will be required.

• For religious ceremonies and civil weddings. One in two seats, compared to one in three previously, can now be occupied.

• For sports halls and swimming pools. Non-priority people will have access for "contactless" sports, with a capacity of 50% and the capacity as with cinemas and theatres will increase to 65% for the public. Limited to 5,000 people and a health pass requested for any reception of more than 1,000 spectators.

From June 30th

• For restaurants, cafes and bars, complete reopening while continuing barrier gestures and physical distancing. A health protocol will be applied according to the epidemic situation on that date.

• For shops. They will in principle, see an end to capacity limits. As will museums.

• For cinemas and theatres. They too will see an end to capacity limits while still respecting physical distancing and barrier gestures. A health pass will remain in effect for any event bringing together more than 1,000 people.

• For religious ceremonies and civil weddings. All seats can be occupied.

• For sports halls and swimming pools. All sports will be allowed, and the public capacity will increase to 100%. A health pass will also be applied.

• For standing concerts and festivals. Standing concerts will be able to resume, with a limit set by the regional prefect. The health pass will be required for any concert bringing together more than 1,000 spectators. As for festivals, they will be able to start again with 4 m2 per participant, and a limit to the number of festivalgoers. Here too, a health pass will be necessary for more than 1,000 participants.

Covid figures published on Monday May 10th - Meanwhile on Monday figures showed a definite drop in the number of Covid patients in intensive care, standing at 4,870. In the last 24 hours, 265 new patients with severe forms of Covid were admitted to intensive care units, compared to 124 the day before.

The total number of Covid patients hospitalized is also down slightly, to 25,666. A total of 1,125 people have been hospitalized in the past 24 hours. Health authorities report an average of 1,120 new hospitalizations per day over the last seven days.

In 24 hours, 293 people have died in hospital from Covid. The daily average of deaths from Covid in French hospitals is 217 over the past seven days.

In the past 24 hours, 3,292 new cases have also been identified in France, a low figure due to the closure of laboratories at the weekend.

National assembly validates “health pass” – And the National Assembly in France has validated the "health pass" despite some criticism. The “health pass” will mean that access to large gatherings or certain places will be reserved for people with a negative covid test, proof of vaccination or proof of having recovered from Covid. The “health pass” was initially to be reserved for international travel but has since also been applied to large gatherings and access to certain places.

In other news 

Frances introduces tougher sentences for attacks carried out on the police - Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced tougher sentences against those who carry out attacks on police officers or gendarmes. The decision was announced in a press release on Monday evening, after a meeting with representatives of the police unions in Matignon.

The decision comes a few days after the murders of a police officer in Rambouillet and a police officer in Avignon. In a statement, the Prime Minister specified that the sentence for a crime committed against a police officer or a gendarme, would be increased to thirty years. The Prime Minister will be in Avignon this afternoon to lead a tribute to Eric Masson the officer killed in a shooting last Wednesday in the city centre.

French serial killer dies aged 79 - Jailed French serial killer Michel Fourniret, who murdered at least eight girls or young women between 1987 and 2001, has died aged 79. Fourniret died in the secure unit of a hospital in Paris, he was serving two life sentences for the kidnappings and killings. Fourniret's wife, Monique Olivier, was also given a life sentence for complicity.

Abolition of slavery - French President Emmanuel Macron has led a ceremony in Paris to commemorate the country’s national day of the abolition of slavery and to pay tribute to the victims of the slave trade. On Monday the French President paid his respects. Also attending the ceremony were members of the government's cabinet, including interior minister Gérald Darmanin, justice minister Éric Dupond-Moretti, education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, and culture minister Roselyne Bachelot.

Monaco signs agreement with Italy - Monaco’s Minister of State M. Pierre Dartout has signed an agreement between the Principality of Monaco and Italy. This agreement is an amendment to the General Convention on Social Security between the two countries signed in February 1982 and relates to the introduction of teleworking for employees of the Principality residing in Italy. The agreement defines teleworking on behalf of the company located in the Principality and vice versa.

After five years of discussions the agreement marks a real progress for both countries especially during the economic context recently made more difficult by Covid which has however, led to the generalization of teleworking successfully. The increased us