French and Riviera News Tuesday 4th January 2022

News 

Surprise suspension at the National Assembly - The National Assembly in France has suspended on Monday evening the examination of the bill on the vaccine pass with its implementation being postponed. The examination of the bill transforming the health pass into a vaccine pass was the subject of a surprise suspension by the Assembly on Monday evening, after a majority of MPs refused to continue the debates after midnight. The coup de théâtre will derail the scheduled timetable for the final text to be adopted by parliament.

Minister says train passengers "can remove mask to eat or drink quickly" - Meanwhile concerning the new regulation of food and drink being forbidden on public transport France's Minister of Transport made a surprising announcement on Monday saying that train passengers could "remove their mask" to "drink or eat quickly". Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a week ago the ban from this Monday to consume in "public transport including long distance.

However, the decree published makes no mention of this measure, yet Matignon and the SNCF nevertheless promised to apply it with "common sense" and "discernment". In an attempt to clarify the rules, the minister said, "If you have an imperative need to drink or eat, because you are fragile or simply because you have this physiological need, you can take off your mask and drink or eat quickly, and then put it back on right after".

Support for businesses announced - French Minister of Employment Elisabeth Borne and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire have announced further support measures for businesses affected by covid restrictions. Amongst the measures, partial activity will be reimbursed at 100% with no out-of-pocket costs for all companies that are subject to new health restrictions if they observe a loss of turnover of at least 65%. The fixed costs system is also changing and will be accessible to certain companies from 50% loss of turnover. It was previously 65%. Bruno Le Maire also said that the fixed costs system will be extended to all companies in the tourism sector.

Laughing gas - A record seven tons of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, with a market value of 2.7 million euros has been seized in the Seine-et-Marne. According to police it's the largest seizure ever made in France and comes following an investigation into an organised network opened back in September. Over-the-counter laughing gas, which is found in the form of cartridges for chantilly cream siphons or in the medical field for anaesthetic purposes, is used by revellers and young people, who divert its use to get