French and Riviera News Tuesday 19th May 2020

Coronavirus testing in Monaco - Coronavirus testing is to get underway for Monaco residents today. The tests are voluntary and are being carried out in alphabetical order by surname.

Testing is open from 8:00am to 6:00pm. The wearing of a mask is compulsory. For further details and other measures go to

Coronavirus - 2 additional deaths from Covid-19 have been reported in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var on Monday. The total of deaths for both regions to date stands at 459. 238 in the Alpes Maritimes and 221 in the Var.

144 people are still hospitalised in the Alpes Maritimes of which 14 are in intensive care.

In the Var, 169 people are hospitalised, including 13 in intensive care

In Monaco one new case of the virus was reported on Monday. The total number of cases in the Principality stands at 97. 87 people have recovered. One patient is in intensive care and 4 patients are being cared for by the home monitoring service.

On a national level the Covid-19 epidemic claimed 131 additional lives in the last 24 hours in France, but the number of patients in intensive care continues to drop, falling below 2,000 for the first time since March 22nd.

In total, at least 28,239 deaths linked to Covid have been recorded since March 1st in France. 19,015 people are still hospitalized, and 1,998 people are in intensive care.

Cluster cases - Meanwhile one week since France lifted its restrictive lockdown measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, dozens of clusters have appeared in different regions across the country including in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. Health authorities have assured the public that these situations are under control and massive testing is underway.

Three clusters have appeared in abattoirs in the last two weeks, one in Vendée, southwest France, another in the central department of Loiret, and a third in Brittany.

The local authorities have insisted that these cases are under control and all employees are being tested adding that there is no danger in consuming meat products handled in these abattoirs.

No clusters have been reported in Normandy or Corsica.

Ban on meeting at places of worship to be lifted - France's administrative court has ruled that the French government must lift a blanket ban on meetings at places of worship within eight days. As part of measures in France to curb the spread of coronavirus a ban was put in place. Currently, all gatherings in places of worship are banned except for funerals, which are limited to 20 people.

The Council of State has since ruled that the ban was "disproportionate in nature" and caused "damage that was seriously and manifestly illegal".

A jump in reservations of yachts and pleasure boats in Cannes -  The mayor of Cannes David Lisnard has announced an investment of 13.4 million euros dedicated to reviving the “disaster stricken” destination on the French Riviera due to the coronavirus pandemic. The mayor also added, during a press conference, that there has been a significant jump in the number of reservations for yachts and pleasure boats in the town’s ports.

Figures from The Chamber of Commerce and Industry show a  "30% increase of requests for this summer season”.

Charles Leclerc new face of Giorgio Armani - The Italian fashion brand Giorgio Armani has announced that Formula one driver Charles Leclerc has achieved pole position as the new face of the Giorgio Armani tailor-made campaign for spring / summer 2020.

Giorgio Armani believes that "Charles Leclerc is a very promising racing driver. He has reached heights despite his young age, and it is an indication of his willpower and determination, as well as his evident talent. He is fresh and has an energetic physical presence that fits well with my tailor made collection".

The Giorgio Armani Tailor-made service was created to meet the needs and demands of a male clientele looking for unique clothing that would effortlessly reflect their personal taste, and natural style, typical of Giorgio Armani.

La Mere Germaine - The legendary family run restaurant La Mere Germaine, created in 1938 in Villefranche-sur-Mer, has been hit hard by the health crisis.

Owned by the Blouin family, the business  has decided to appeal for donations to save the gastronomic legendary restaurant which has welcomed, over the years
Jean-Paul Belmondo, Liza Minelli, Roger Moore, Bono, Jean Cocteau, Boris Yeltsin and even François Mitterrand.

Business has already been impacted by a succession of bad weather, the crisis of the "yellow vests", movement and now closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Two weeks ago, the crowdfunding was launched and loyal customers have already shown their support including Larry Mullen, drummer of U2, businessmen and antique dealers.

Crossle Lotus - Police in Marseille have recovered a stolen Formula B single seater “Crossle Lotus”. The expensive and rare car, developed in 1968 and the last of only six models built, had disappeared in March 2012 from a parking lot in the city.

The historic car was amongst five luxury motorcycles and scooters reportedly stolen between July 2019 and March of this year.

A 22-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the theft and placed in police custody.

Tick Alert - The INRA has developed a new version of its application. The aim is to allow better prevention. Via the "Tick Alert" application, any victim of these blood-sucking parasites can help map the risk of a bite in France permitting better prevention.

"A tick can carry a wide variety of pathogens including Lyme disease".  The App allows everyone to report their bites helping researchers who add that "There are around forty tick species in France, 900 worldwide. And not all of them necessarily transmit the same pathogens,".

French actor Michel Piccoli dies - French actor Michel Piccoli has died aged 94. Piccoli starred in a string of classics that redefined world cinema, from “Belle de Jour” and “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” to a typically memorable turn opposite Brigitte Bardot in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Le Mépris” in 1963.

Piccoli regarded as a masterful performer with a wickedly malicious edge, managed to carve out a hugely prolific career as both an art house icon and a kind of French Cary Grant.


Shares in Asia have followed Wall Street up this morning with oil extending gains and the euro hitting a two week high as optimism grew that the global economy would recover more quickly following a successful early-stage trial of a coronavirus vaccine.

Data from a trial of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine showed that it produced protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers.

The positive early result has boosted sentiment with investors betting on a faster-than-expected economic recovery.

At the moment ,analysts are still expecting a sharp contraction in global growth with the outlook for 2021 uncertain amid no approved treatments or vaccines for the virus yet on the market.

Health experts have estimated that a safe and effective vaccine against the virus could take between 12 and 18 months to develop.


The euro has hit a two week high against the dollar after France and Germany called for the creation of a 500 billion euro recovery fund which would offer grants to the countries and regions hardest hit by the pandemic.

The announcement ,which was made following talks via video link on Monday represents a significant shift in the position of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and has been heralded by French President Emmanuel Macron as “what the eurozone needs to remain united”.

Angela Merkel ,who’d previously rejected the idea of nations sharing debt said that the European Commission would raise the money for the fund by borrowing on the markets with the funds repaid gradually from the EU’s overall budget.

The two leaders also said that grants provided by the proposed recovery fund should also be used to help finance investment in a greener future.

Other EU nations will have to approve the proposals with some signs that some countries ,notably Austria would prefer to see member states offered loans rather than grants.


And-Disney’s head of streaming is to leave the firm to take over at the social media platform TikTok.

Kevin Mayer has been named as new CEO of TikTok and chief operating officer of the platform’s Chinese parent company ByteDance.

TikTok ,where users post short videos has seen an explosion in growth since it was launched in the United States.

The increase in use has led to scrutiny by the US government over the platform’s ties to China.

TikTok has been downloaded more than 2 billion times on IOS and Android since it was launched globally in 2017.The app allows users to make 15 second videos with music in the background.



Formula 1-Fernando Alonso is said to be ready for a return to the sport.

The 38 year old’s advisor Flavio Briatore says that he’s “motivated” and that a year out of the sport has done him good.

It’s understood that Alonso has had talks with Renault where he won his two world championships about a return but that no final decision has been made.

There’s a vacant seat at Renault next season with Daniel Ricciardo moving to McLaren.


Football-Surprise inspections are set to take place at Premier League clubs in England from today to make sure that new safety guidance is being adhered to.

Players at top flight clubs will resume training in groups of 5 from today and GPS tracking and video analysis is to be used to make sure that rule are being respected.

The Premier League is hoping to re-start the season in the middle of next month but the 12th of June date for matches to resume is looking ambitious.


Celtic have been awarded the Scottish Premier League title after the season was halted.

It’s the 9th season in a row that Celtic have won the title.

Hearts have been relegated but say that they may take legal action.


Cricket-Players will not be allowed to shine the ball using saliva when the game resumes but the use of sweat will still be allowed.

The International Cricket Council has made the ruling after hearing evidence that suggests that its highly unlikely that coronavirus can be transmitted through sweat but that there is an elevated risk through saliva.


Partially cloudy this morning ,turning showery this afternoon with some thunder possible at times.

Light south westerly winds and highs of 23-25 degrees.

Overnight lows of 18 degrees on the coast and 15 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Mainly fine in coastal areas ,showers inland.Highs of 24-27 degrees.





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