French and Riviera News Tuesday 12th January 2021


Var introduces 6pm curfew, from today - As the Var and the Drome departments in France introduce the 6pm curfew today, Prime Minister Jean Castex, has said that “while a third lockdown is not ruled out as a last resort against Covid, the current figures suggest that the new curfew is having a positive effect”. Castex added that this coming week is “crucial” as far as the health situation is concerned. The Var and the Drome join 23 other departments in France, including the Alpes Maritimes and the Bouches du Rhone, which had already moved the curfew forward from 8pm to 6pm.

Monaco - Monaco’s government has announced that a 72-year-old resident being treated at the Princess-Grace Hospital for Covid has died. This is the third Covid related death since the start of 2021 and the sixth since the beginning of the health crisis.

In addition, thirteen new positive cases of Covid-19 were identified on Monday bringing the total number of residents affected to 1,070. Twenty-six people are currently hospitalized and 116 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Center.

France Covid figures - Meanwhile on Monday, France saw a further increase in the number of people hospitalized for Covid for a second consecutive day with 24,812 new admissions. In addition, 310 people died from Covid in the past 24 hours bringing the total number of deaths to 67,750.

In a press release on Monday the Ministry of Health announced that 138,351 people have been vaccinated in France among priority cases, with the vaccination campaign inviting on January 18th all those over the age of 75 to be vaccinated. Registration is now open on the government website.

The government will hold a health defense council tomorrow Wednesday 13th January ahead of the government press conference on the health situation scheduled for Thursday.

WHO warns that collective immunity will not be achieved this year – The World Health Organisation has warned that the fight against the coronavirus is far from over adding that the “collective immunity against Covid-19 will not be achieved this year, despite vaccines being distributed in many countries”. The organization stresses the importance of continuing to apply protective measures such as physical distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask to control the pandemic.

Health Insurance - According to France’s Health Insurance, 2,500 employees in France have filed for sick leave online for suspected Covid without going to see a doctor. The system allows only private and public employees who cannot work from home to make the declaration online following a check list published by the Ministry of Health. Cases are then, to avoid abuse, followed-up with two to three phone calls over a 7-day period. In addition, the Prime Minister has said that from January 20th, each individual declared positive will be offered a home visit from a nurse.

Arrests made following investigation into criminal gang - Twenty-one people have been arrested in France and Corsica as part of a financial investigation into suspected members of the so-called "Petit Bar" criminal gang involved in international money laundering. The recent arrests at the weekend follow a wave of arrests and searches which took place on September 28th in Corsica and Switzerland. Investigators seek to dismantle the Petit Bar's international money laundering networks. According to figures put forward by the daily Le Monde, some 48 million offshore and real estate investments have enabled the criminal group to launder money.

Global summit - At least 50 countries committed to protecting 30% of the planet have taken part in a global summit on Monday, aimed at protecting the world's biodiversity. The event, organized by France, the United Nations and the World Bank launched a program called PREZODE which French President Emmanuel Macron presented as an unprecedented international initiative to prevent the emergence of zoonotic diseases and pandemics, which is already mobilizing over 400 researchers and experts across the world. The move comes as scientists suspect that the coronavirus that first infected people in China last year came from an animal source, probably bats. Other leaders at the summit included British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. China, represented by Vice Premier Han Zheng, agreed that “collective efforts” are needed. 

Another initiative announced at the summit involves a new coalition of Mediterranean countries working to better protect the sea from pollution and overfishing and Britain’s Prince Charles launched an “urgent appeal” to private sector leaders to join a new investment alliance targeting $10 billion