French and Riviera News Tuesday 6th April 2021

News

Return to home schooling - For many parents in France, today marks a return to home schooling and online lessons as schools start a three to four-week closure due to the Covid pandemic. The French government's decision to close schools was announced last week and came as a last resort to control the spread of Covid. According to the Health Minister teachers are to be vaccinated from mid-April and if all goes to plan then nursery and primary schools will be the first to return on April 26th with college and high schools following on May 3rd. 

Stade de France - The Stade de France is to open today Tuesday 6th April as a “vaccinodrome" aiming to carry out more than 10,000 vaccinations per week. The Regional Health Agency has announced that the “mega-vaccination center will be open "to all those who want to be vaccinated". The French captials stadium is the 158th center to open in the Ile de France region.

Covid - Nearly 30,000 people are currently hospitalised in France with Covid, including more than 5,400 in intensive care. Public Health France reports that over the last seven days, 12,878 new admissions have been recorded. The intensive care units, report 5,433 patients and in the last 24 hours, 197 deaths.

Regarding contamination, 10,793 new cases of Covid were identified in the last 24 hours. This figure is usually lower on Mondays, due to fewer tests being carried out on weekends. On Sunday evening, Public Health France had announced 66,794 additional cases. But this high level was explained by a catching up of data not given on Saturday.

As for vaccination, 9,351,329 people have received at least one injection of the vaccine, or about 14% of the French population, announces the Ministry of Health in its daily update. Of these, 3,142,151 people received a second dose.

Monaco – The Prince’s Government has offered its sincere condolences to the families and relatives of the 68-year-old Monaco resident who has died from Covid, assuring full support in this painful and difficult time. To date 30 people have died in the Principality since the start of the epidemic.

Five new positive cases were identified on Monday April 5th. Twenty-eight people are in hospital and 64 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Center.

French fear safety of AstraZeneca - Meanwhile the vaccination campaign in France has hit yet another hurdle with many doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine not being used due to the doubt amongst the French in the safety of the vaccination.

In Hauts-de-France, three vaccination centers were forced to close their doors earlier than expected this weekend, due to the lack of volunteers wanting to be injected with the AstraZeneca vaccine. A total of 1180 doses went unused.

In Calais, the vaccination center installed at the Forum Gambetta had to stop its activity after having injected only 200 doses out of the 750 available. With the mayor of Calais saying, "People are simply refusing to be vaccinated”.

The fear towards the vaccine has stemmed from the possible, yet not proven, link to blood clots. The European Medicines Agency has reported that “to date there have been 62 cases of thrombosis in the world, including 44 in the 30 countries of the European Economic Area (EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein) for 9.2 million doses of vaccine administered”.

In other news

Man attacked on port of Saint-Raphael - A man has been brutally attacked after a fight broke out on the Quai Albert 1er in Saint-Raphaël in the Var. The incident occurred on Monday afternoon at around 2:30pm. The victim was found on the ground after being severely beaten by a dozen people, near to a fast-food restaurant in the Old Port. Some residents tried to separate them, but the group of attackers continued to beat the individual before fleeing. Police have opened an investigation.

“I love Nice” - The “I love Nice” structure, greatly appreciated by the Niçois and tourists alike, is to return to its place on the Rauba Capeu this morning. The structure had been removed to be cleaned, repainted and varnished. It was first installed in the city in November 2016. The slogan had taken shape following the July 15th attack and "to send a message of hope to the whole world" said mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi.

Bestselling brands in terms of value - According to data from panelist NielsenIQ, Ricard, Cristaline and Coca-Cola were the best-selling items in terms of value in French supermarkets last year. Drinks largely dominate the ranking. In terms of value, the bottle of Ricard (1l) takes first place (280 million euros in turnover), ahead of the 6x1.5l pack of Cristaline (249 million euros), the 1.75l bottle of Coca -Cola (164 million), the 20x25cl pack of Heineken (154 million) and the 1l bottle of William Peel (125 million euros).

Excluding drinks, Nutella is the best-selling reference (96 million euros), ahead of President Beurre Doux 250g (70 million euros), Ferrero Rocher 375g (70 million), Carte Noire coffee 2x250g (58 million) and the Caprice des dieux 300g (56 million).

Business

The French government has reached a deal with the European Commission allowing Paris to inject fresh money into the national carrier, Air France, whose finances have been hit hard due to the health crisis. The French state holds a 14 percent stake in Air France. The company has suffered, like airlines the world over, from a huge reduction in passenger traffic in the wake of the Covid pandemic. Air France losses in 2020 are estimated at seven billion euros.

20 million Facebook users in France have been affected by the recent data breach which has worldwide affected more that 500 million Facebook users. One out of two Facebook users in France are affected and the phone numbers of 533 million users of the social network - which has nearly three billion worldwide - are now freely accessible on the web. The data breach, one of the most serious to hit the multinational, was discovered last January. In addition to France, other European countries are particularly concerned, with 36 million victims in Italy, 11 million in Spain and 6 million in Germany. In the United States, 32 million people are affected.

Sport

Football – In the English Premier League last night Everton drew 1-1 against Crystal Palace while West Ham beat Wolves 3-2. In the Champions League this evening Manchester City play Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid face Liverpool.

Tennis – France’s sports minister has said that the French Open could be postponed because of a surge in coronavirus cases. France entered a third nationwide lockdown on Saturday, which President Emmanuel Macron said he expected to end in mid-May. The Grand Slam is due to take place at Roland Garros from 23 May to 6 June, with qualifying the week before. In 2020, it was postponed to the autumn because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Athletics - Britain's Beth Potter ran the second-fastest road 5km ever by a female athlete at a race in the Lancashire village of Barrowford. The 29-year-old Scottish runner who competed at the 2016 Olympics, clocked a time of 14 minutes 41 seconds on Saturday. The time may eventually be classified as a world record.

Weather

Cloudy with sunny spells highs of 15 degrees in Nice, Saint Paul de Vence, Juan les Pins and Cannes with a light moderate breeze. This evening going down to 5 degrees with the possibility of rain. In Saint Tropez and the Var clear skies and highs of 15 with gusty winds.

Outlook for Wednesday and Thursday highs of 13 tomorrow mainly fine and 16-18 degrees on Thursday with clear skies.

And Finally

A Norwegian man has tried to escape quarantine in a Swedish hotel by skiing 40 kilometers. The fifty-year-old was trying to escape a mandatory quarantine at a hotel in Sweden when he tried to cross the border, taking to the mountains on skis and heading to Norway to collect papers from his home with the intention of returning to where he worked in Sweden.  However the man got into difficulty due to bad weather and had to be rescued by emergency services.  The emergency services then handed him over to the police for violating the health rules of the Covid-19. Under Norwegian rules, the man should have tested negative and spent ten days in quarantine in a hotel except for essential travel. 

 

 

 

 

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