French and Riviera News Wednesday 11th November 2020

News

Interior Minister calls for controls on lockdown restrictions to be stepped up - France's Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has asked prefects across France to "strengthen controls" and "enforce the rules of lockdown". The Minister wants police checks stepped up on gatherings, parks, gardens, airports and train stations. Since the beginning of the second lockdown police have issued 65,000 fines for noncompliance to lockdown rules.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Jean Castex is to hold a press conference on Thursday 12th November at 6pm following the defense council meeting which is to take place in the morning. Castex will “take stock of the current health situation” in France but according to reports it will be too soon for a"possible easing of restrictions" despite calls from small businesses.

Working from home during lockdown - According to a recent survey carried out by Harris Interactive for France’s Ministry of Employment, 39% of French employees say that their job does not allow them to work remotely. With the arrival of the second lockdown in France the French government called on employers to make their employees work remotely from home “as soon as possible”. The survey showed that 39% of employees were unable to do so, 36% said they were able to and 25% were able but with difficulty. Meanwhile 15% indicated that their employer has not authorized them to work remotely, even partially, despite being able to do so.

Pregnant women not obliged to wear protective masks during childbirth - The French government has clarified that pregnant women must not be obliged to wear protective masks during childbirth. The announcement comes after a flood of complaints from mothers who said they were forced to do so by hospital staff. While some maternity wards in France have insisted on the masks, others were less strict. To end the uncertainty, three French ministers released a joint statement reminding health professionals that “giving birth must remain a privileged moment” – and that while wearing a protective mask in the presence of caregivers was “desirable”, it cannot be made compulsory.

Green Party leader calls for Covid-19 vaccine to be mandatory - Yannick Jadot, a leading figure in France's Green Party has said getting vaccinated against Covid-19 should be mandatory, once the jab becomes available. Jadot, a European MP with France's Green Party EELV made the comment after American laboratory Pfizer reported that its candidate vaccine had shown 90% success rate in preventing people from catching Covid-19. Meanwhile past polls have shown the French to be am