French and Riviera News Tuesday 5th January 2021


Bars and restaurants to remain closed - It has been decided that bars and restaurant in France will not reopen on January 20th. It’s not yet official but the decision has reportedly been taken following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and the government on Monday. This afternoon, unions are to meet with the Head of State requesting a new date and a clear plan for the future of bars and restaurants in France.

Beaches of Saint Laurent du Var - After several rainy days in the Alpes-Maritimes tons of wood from the valleys has washed up on the beaches of Saint Laurent du Var. However local officials are not so concerned about the wood but by other waste such as plastic bottles, cans and household waste. A clean up campaign will be carried out once the local police have checked the area for any dangerous waste such as bottles of gas.

Weather - Meteo France has issued yellow warnings for icy conditions and avalanches in the Alpes Maritimes until 4pm today. There's a yellow warning for icy conditions in the Var until midday today.

Motorway authorities ask motorists to take care - VINCI Autoroutes are reminding motorists using some of the motorways in south-east France to take extra care because of snow. Snow has already been falling in parts of the Var on Monday.

Case of Covid variant in Corsica - A case of the British variant of Covid-19 has been identified in Corsica. The person affected had returned from London and is currently self-isolating at home. Corsica tests all passengers without a negative Covid test when they land in Ajaccio which made it possible for the regional health authorities to identify the case. In place from December 19th to January 8th, out of the 58,000 checks carried out so far, 750 were not able to provide a negative test and were therefore tested on arrival. 39 passengers did attempt to avoid being tested and were fined.

A first case of the variant was identified in France on December 25th, in Tours, when a Frenchman returned from London a few days earlier.

Vaccination campaign in France - French health authorities have stepped up the coronavirus vaccination campaign after critics on Monday attacked Emmanuel Macron's government for lagging embarrassingly behind its European neighbours. Macron was reported to be furious over the number of people in France who had received their jab compared with statistics from Germany and Britain. The Head of State called a meeting with top advisors as well as health minister Olivier Véran and the prime minister, Jean Castex, on Monday to thrash out a new presentation of the vaccination project.

The meeting resulted in health workers aged 50 and over receiving their jabs from Monday despite the initial plan to start vaccinating them from February. More than 65,000 people have died from Covid-19 in France since January 2020. On Monday 12,000 new cases were registered.

The Prime Minister promised in early December that 1 million people would be vaccinated by the end of January. The website CovidTracker, which collates French official public health data, estimates that to achieve the target, nearly 35,000 people would have to be vaccinated daily in France.

Nice Hospital - The CHU Hospital in Nice has launched a vaccination campaign for professionals working at the hospital. All hospital professionals over the age of 50 are eligible for the vaccination as well as personnel under 50 at serious risk. The vaccination campaign potentially concerns 2,500 hospital professionals within the hospital. The hospital is also continuing to vaccinate elderly care unit residents and long-care unit patients.

The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has said that rural areas of Metropole Nice Cote d'Azur will benefit from the deployment of the vaccination plan "very soon".  The mayor added that 20,000 people have already registered on the Nice Covid-19 vaccine registration website. The address is

Xavier Bertrand pushes for vaccination centers to be opened - Meanwhile the president of the Hauts-de-France region Xavier Bertrand, deplores "an extremely serious error by the French government" and proposes in his region "to open vaccination centers in high schools or public spaces well before the official date of February" or to move from written consent to oral consent. On Monday morning, 516 people had been vaccinated in France, compared to over 265,000 in Germany and nearly 119,000 in Italy.

“Voisins Voices” newsletter - The British Embassy in Paris has published online a bumper edition of the “Voisins Voices” newsletter with information about the newly negotiated End of transition and what it means for you. For the link to the newsletter, click