French and Riviera News Wednesday 11th August 2021

News

Health Defence meeting - A meeting of the “Health Defence Council” is scheduled to take place this morning. French President Emmanuel Macron will be chairing the meeting via video link from Fort Bregancon in the Var where he is currently on holiday.

The meeting comes as the covid epidemic begins to gain ground in France, especially with the spread of the Delta variant. An extraordinary Council of Ministers will follow Wednesday's Health Defense Council. The French Government will declare a state of health emergency in French Polynesia.

As the extension of the health pass came into force on Monday August 9th, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, affirmed in the Parisian newspaper, that "the pass and the progression of the vaccination should avoid France being subject to further curfews and lockdowns”.

Meanwhile the Secretary of State to the Prime Minister and government spokesperson Gabriel Attal visited Nice on Tuesday August 10th, to promote the vaccination of adolescents. During his visit Attal visited the Acropolis vaccination centre and also chatted with owners of local restaurant and hotel businesses in Old Nice.

Number of covid patients continues to rise - The number of covid patients in intensive care continues to rise as the number of patients hospitalised reaches just over 9,100. According to data from Public Health France, 9,153 people were hospitalised on Tuesday August 10th, compared to 9,022 the day before. The number of new admissions in 24 hours stood at 944.

US urges against travel to France - Meanwhile the US State Department has urged American’s not to travel to France, adding the country to its maximum alert level for covid cases. France has recorded more than 6 million Covid-19 cases and 112,000 deaths in total, and while hospitalisations are still way off previous highs, an average of 22,000 cases are now being recorded daily.

Infection rates have crept up in popular holiday destinations like the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, and especially in France's overseas territories where hospitals are overwhelmed.

In other news

Mountain rescue interventions - Mountain rescue services in the Alpes Maritimes have carried out five interventions in just one day. Five hiking accidents occurred in the region on Tuesday August 10th.  The hinterland valleys are all the rage this summer and with a heavy influx of tourists the beginning of August has marked a rise in the number of accidents.

In Fréjus the municipal police will not carry out checks on health passes - The city council of Fréjus in the Var, has announced that municipal police will not be controlling the health passes. The health pass was extended on Monday to, amongst other public places, bars, cafes and restaurants. The mayor added that restaurants and businesses to whom it applies will no be controlled either.

Restaurant in Auron rents tables to avoid health pass - Meanwhile a restaurant owner in the winter sports resort of Auron in the Alpes Maritimes, has found a way of avoiding the health pass by renting his tables. Yann the manager of the “Au refuge” restaurant rents camping tables thus bypassing the obligation of the health pass. Speaking to local media, Yann explained that after having invested in the fold up camping tables, "customers are able to take them and they go wherever they want." Adding that "anyone who doesn’t have the QR Code will be able to take our takeout meals and eat further away or even take them for a picnic”.

Weather warning - Meteo France have issued a yellow warning for heat for both the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes until at least 4pm this afternoon. Meteo France say that very hot weather will affect the south-east of the country and the Rhône valley and may last until the end of the week. The ‘dome of heat’ from north Africa is also spreading across Spain and Italy. Locally nighttime temperatures are not expected to drop below 21 to 22 ° C and highs will be around 35 to 38 ° C. Thursday is expected to be the hottest day of the heatwave.

Nice Airport - Changes are to be introduced from this weekend in order to ease the traffic at Nice International Airport. Roads around the airport have seen a recent increase in “exceptional” traffic jams since the resumption of international flights in June.

Casino announces two jackpots in 24 hours - The Casino “La Siesta” in Antibes has recently celebrated two jackpots won in just 24 hours. The rare event saw a regular customer win 50,000 euros followed by a second win within 24 hours, from an occasional client who took home just over 18,000 euros.

Business

Hackers have stolen some $600m (£433m) in cryptocurrency.

Blockchain site Poly Network said hackers had exploited a vulnerability in its system and taken thousands of digital tokens. In a letter posted on Twitter, it urged the thieves to "establish communication and return the hacked assets".

Meanwhile AMC, the US cinema chain that owns Odeon, says it will allow customers to pay for movie tickets and concessions in Bitcoin by the end of the year. The firm, which is the largest US cinema chain, has not said whether it will apply to its cinemas in Europe.

Amazon has said it will compensate customers who suffer injury or property damage from defective goods sold by independent sellers on its US platform. From 1 September it will pay valid claims of up to $1,000 (£720), which make up more than 80% of injury and damage cases on its site.

It comes as the shopping giant faces mounting pressure over product safety, following a series of court cases.

The UKs education secretary has said that Universities that do not return to face-to-face teaching this coming academic year should not be charging full fees.  Gavin Williamson said: "I think if universities are not delivering what students expect, then actually they shouldn't be charging the full fees." He said the government has made it "clear" that "all universities can move back to face-to-face teaching".

Sport

Football - Footballer Lionel Messi has said that he “can't wait to start a new chapter in his career in Paris." In a statement, the French capital’s club PSG said they were "very happy to announce the signing of "the Argentinian" on a two-year contract, with an additional year as an option." Messi is to hold a press conference this morning at 11am.

PSG, who finished the 2021 season in second place behind Lille, boasted about the imminent arrival of the six-time Ballon D'Or winner on social media.

Tennis – Due to an ongoing foot injury and less than three weeks before the US open begins Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Canadian Open. The 35-year-old pulled out of Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, saying he wanted to rest after the clay-court season. Nadal played in Washington on 5 and 6 August, but now says he will return to Mallorca to try and "be better again".

Cricket - All-rounder Moeen Ali has been added to the England squad for the second Test against India. 34-year-old Moeen, last played Test cricket in February in the second match of the series against India.

Weather

Meteo France has issued a weather warning with high temperatures expected today. In Nice, Cannes and Antibes highs of 29-31 degrees are forecast, with clear skies and a gentle breeze. In the Var highs of 30-33 degrees in Saint Tropez and Toulon.

This evening going down to 21 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday, remaining fine with highs of 30-33 degrees along the coast and reaching up to 34-36 degrees inland.

And Finally 

Recent figures have shown that marriage rates in the UK have fallen to their lowest levels on record. The figure for opposite sex couples has tumbled because more people are choosing to just live together or delay tying the knot.

It is likely to have fallen further in the past two years due to as Covid. But there are signs that those who do get married are sticking together as divorce rates are also at a 30-year low.

 

 

 

 

 

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