French and Riviera News Tuesday 27th April 2021


France approves antigenic Covid tests for under 15s - France’s High Health Authority has authorised antigenic tests and self-tests for children. Until now, these tests were reserved for those over 15 years old, but the authority believes that they may be relevant to break the chain of Covid contamination in schools. The authorization, given on Monday April 26th, will significantly increase the capacity of Covid-19 screening, particularly in schools. Their main advantages: a result in 15 to 30 minutes and they are less invasive than nasal swabs. The High Health Authority has recommended that these tests be "carried out at least once a week”.

Intensive care Covid patients exceeds 6,000 - Meanwhile the number of Covid patients in intensive care in France has exceeded 6,000 for the first time in more than a year. In the last 24 hours 470 patients were admitted to intensive care compared to 218 the day before. According to Public Health France a total of 6,001 people are to date, in critical care services.

Computer bugs for back to school – Middle and high school students in France said on Monday morning that they were unable to connect to the Cned "My class at home" internet platform. The Ministry of Education claimed that this was due to "a certain number of users making a mistake by going to the Cned commercial site”. While nursery and elementary schools reopened on Monday, older students have another week of distance learning before returning to the classroom on Monday 3rd May.

EU attacks AstraZeneca - The European Commission has announced that it has taken legal action against AstraZeneca, which it accuses of not having respected its commitments in terms of deliveries of doses of its vaccine against Covid. The pharmaceutical group has promised to "firmly defend itself" against an action it considers "unfounded".

In other news

France pays tribute to police employee - France has paid tribute to a police employee who was stabbed to death last week at a police station in Rambouillet southwest of Paris. Anti-terror prosecutors said the perpetrator, a Tunisian national, had been radicalized.

Accident in Nice interrupts tram services - A man in his twenties has been taken to hospital in a critical condition following a collision with a tram on Monday afternoon in Nice. The accident occurred shortly after 3pm on Avenue Francois-Mitterrand. The victim was at the time riding a scooter. Tram services were interrupted between Pasteur and Garibaldi as emergency services intervened.

Fishing industry - French minister Annick Girardin, has announced a funding of 100 million euros for French fishermen. Fishermen of Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais) have recently denounced significant delays in the implementation of the post-Brexit fishing agreement concluded with the United Kingdom. The release of 100 million euros, approved by Brussels, is part of a plan to support the post-Brexit fishing industry. Girardin also went on to assure industry representatives on Monday that 21 new licenses, to allow French boats to fish in British waters, would soon be issued.

Emmanuel Macron calls for more experienced senior officials - Following the end of the National School of Administration the (ENA) in early April, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that he plans to “end administrative institutions which welcome the elite” adding that he wants “more experienced senior officials”. In early April the ENA was replaced by the Institute of Public Service. According to the Head of State the new reform intends to tackle "determinism" and "corporatism" which as described by Macron are the “two illnesses” of the public service. For some, ahead of the 2022 presidential election Emmanuel Macron wishes to demonstrate a programme which can offer the improvement of “social mobility and equal opportunities”.

SNCF to increase the number of trains from May - The SNCF has announced plans to run more trains in May. Eight out of ten TGVs will be running on May 7th and practically all trains will run during the May bank holidays. The rail network announced that reservations are already open for this period as well as the summer holidays in July and August.

Monaco Formula One Grand Prix - Several scenarios are being considered ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix which takes place in the Principality on May 23rd with the possibility of welcoming a limited number of spectators. Speaking to Italian media the CEO of Formula One Stefano Domenicali, said that the situation is “changing hour by hour and being monitored on a daily basis”. Monaco announced ten days ago an easing of health restrictio