French and Riviera News Tuesday 28th December 2021

News

New measures in France and Monaco - France and Monaco have introduced new measures due to the health situation. In Monaco from January 10th, the health pass will be extended to a number of business sectors which welcome the public, such as hairdressers and sports establishments. In France from January 15th the vaccination pass will be required for access to bars, restaurants, museums, theatres and sporting establishments, just a negative covid test will no longer be acceptable.

New Year's Eve - For New Year's Eve celebrations in Monaco and France no curfew has been introduced. In Monaco gatherings of more than ten people on public streets are prohibited as is the consumption of alcohol in public and dancing and karaoke is banned in bars and restaurants. The sale of take away alcohol in the Principality will be prohibited after 8pm on December 31st and there will be no celebrations at Place de Casino or Port Hercules. All musical entertainment must end at 1am. In France fireworks and alcohol consumption will be prohibited on public roads on New Year's Eve.

New rules from Monday 3rd January - From Monday 3rd January there will be new rules in France in bars, cinemas, sports facilities and public transport. In cafes and bars there will only be service for seated customers with the consumption at the bar prohibited. The consumption of food and beverages will be banned in all cinemas, theatres, sports facilities and public transport including long-distance. France will limit outdoor gatherings to 5,000 and 2,000 indoors and people will have to be seated at concerts.

Booster jab - France has also announced that from today Tuesday 28th December the period to wait for a booster jab will be reduced from 4 to 3 months after having received the first two doses.

Harsher sanctions - As the health pass is replaced by the vaccination pass on January 15th in France the Prime Minister also announced harsher sanctions for those who fail to respect the measure calling it "a deliberate act of endangering others" adding that the new law once passed, will allow staff of establishments welcoming the public to carry out ID checks.

Masks - Without providing further details on the date of application of the measure, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that the wearing of masks could become mandatory "in all city centres". With prefects adopting the measures in agreement with mayors.

Isolation period for contact cases remains unchanged - For the time being no changes have been announced in France for the period of isolation. Currently if you are a "case of contact" of a person likely to have been contaminated with the Omicron variant, you must isolate for a period of seven days (or 17 days if you share the home of the infected person), as specified by the Social Security website Ameli.

France and Monaco to return to school on Monday as planned - Both France and Monaco maintain the return to school on Monday January 3rd. In Monaco on the first day of school each student will be given a self-test on a voluntary basis and employers will also be offered self-tests for their employees.

Teleworking in France - In France from January 3rd and for a period of three weeks teleworking will be introduced for a minimum of three days a week and four where possible making it mandatory in all companies and for all employees for whom it is possible.

The new measures come as France recorded a record 100,000 covid cases in 24 hours on Saturday as Prime Minister Jean Castex referred to the pandemic during last night's news conference as "like a film without an ending". Meanwhile Monaco has also witnessed a gradual deterioration in hospital capacity and 334 new cases of covid identified over the last six days.

A&E staff continue strike action - The emergency staff of University Hospital in Rouen continue their indefinite strike action which began on Monday 27th September in protest against the deterioration of their working conditions and the lack of human and material resources. The management of the establishment on Monday 27th December estimated that the rate of strikers is about "24%, with 38 strikers registered out of 158 employees in the A&E department.

Changes to A&E units in France's hospitals - Meanwhile going to the A&E department of a hospital in France will no longer be free of charge. Any visit to A&E which is not followed by being admitted to hospital will be charged 19.81 euros. This "emergency patient package" announced as part of the social security law in October 2020 to relieve congestion in hospitals comes into force on January 1st. However, some patients will benefit from certain exceptions. The bill will be € 8.49 for women who are more than 5 months pregnant, people with long-term conditions and completely free for child victims of abuse as well as victims of terrorism or rape.

Accident on A8 motorway - A motorist has been injured in a car accident on the A8 motorway. The accident occurred on Monday morning at around 10.30am just after the Saint Isidore pay toll westbound. Emergency services intervened. It was only last week that police announced tougher checks on this stretch of motorway which is considered to be amongst the most dangerous in France.

British man assaults flight attendant on Air France flight - A 28-year-old British man, reportedly under the influence of alcohol has assaulted a flight attendant on an Air France Amsterdam-Paris flight. The incident occurred on Sunday when the man, quite drunk, violently pushed the flight attendant, touched her buttocks, after triggering the anti-smoke system of the aircraft and urinating on the plane. The captain requested the assistance of the police when the aircraft landed at Orly airport. After taking all the passengers out, the police arrested the young British drunk who insulted the police during his arrest. He was first placed in a sobering cell before being taken into custody.

Business

Elon Musk is facing a social media backlash after China complained that its space station was forced to avoid collisions with satellites launched by his Starlink Internet Services project. Beijing has claimed that the country's space station had two "close encounters" with Starlink satellites.

Scientists have in the past voiced concerns about the risks of collisions in space and called on world governments to share information about the estimated 30,000 satellites and other space debris that are orbiting earth. SpaceX has already launched almost 1,900 satellites as part of the Starlink network and plans to deploy thousands more. Last month, the US space agency NASA abruptly postponed a spacewalk from the International Space Station over concerns about space debris.

Shoppers in the UK have shunned Christmas high street sales due to covid fears. New data showed on Monday that the number of people taking advantage of post-Christmas sales fell by 32% compared with 2019.

Meanwhile covid related flight cancellations globally continues on Monday with more than 2,200 flights being scrapped. Chinese and US destinations are the worst hit according to the FlightAware tracking website. In all, more than 8,000 flights have been grounded over the long Christmas weekend that began on Friday.

According to figures from the Ministry of employment in France published on Monday 27th December the number of unemployed (category A) continued its decline in November, with 55,800 fewer jobseekers (-1.7%), to 3.321 million, after a decline of 3.3% in October.

Sport

Cricket – Australia have thrashed England to retain Ashes at Melbourne. Resuming on 31-4, England were bowled out for just 68 inside 81 minutes.

Football - The French Football Federation has announced sanctions after violence between fans during the 32nd final of the Coupe de France. The sanctions fell for Paris FC and Olympique Lyonnais, after violence between supporters of the two clubs at the Coupe de France, on December 17th, resulting in their elimination from the competition.

In Monday's Premier League Newcastle drew 1-1 against Manchester United. This evening the match between Arsenal and Wolverhampton has been postponed as has the match between Leeds and Aston Villa. Crystal Palace will play Norwich and Southampton against Tottenham; Watford play West Ham and Leicester are at home to Liverpool.

Rugby Union - Defending champions Harlequins ended a memorable year victoriously as they climbed to third in the Premiership by narrowly edging past Northampton.

Weather

Sunny intervals with a gentle breeze. Highs of 14 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Antibes. Cloudy in Saint Tropez and the Var with highs of 13. This evening going down to 8 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Wednesday and Thursday. Sunny intervals tomorrow, clearing by Thursday with sunshine and highs of 17 degrees.

 

 

 

 

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