French and Riviera News Wednesday 14th April 2021


French President to hold meeting on the gradual reopening of closed establishments - French President Emmanuel Macron is to chair a meeting on Thursday April 15th at 6pm at the Elysee Palace to discuss the protocols for the gradual reopening of establishments, closed due to the health crisis. The meeting comes fifteen days after the last address by the Head of State during which he evoked a possible return to normal life in mid-May.

Several ministers will be present at the meeting including, Prime Minister Jean Castex, Health Minister Olivier Véran, Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer and Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin amongst others.

On March 16th, the French government proposed a plan to reopen restaurants in phases. The implementation of this plan remains subject to two indicators; the number of daily Covid cases and the number of people vaccinated.

The first phase concerns hotels and hotel restaurants. The second concerns the opening of terraces, cafes and restaurants. At the beginning of April, the President of the Republic had also mentioned the establishment "between mid-May and the beginning of summer, of a calendar of gradual reopening for culture, sport and events”.

French government accused of managing the crisis on a "day by day" basis - The meeting comes as the French government faces criticism for making decisions on a “day by day basis” especially concerning the sudden U-turn in cancelling, until further notice, all flights between France and Brazil on Tuesday April 13th. A move which many health professionals in France had been calling for due to the Brazilian variant.

National Assembly approves proposal from Prime Minister concerning regional and departmental elections in June - Meanwhile the National Assembly on Tuesday approved the proposal from French Prime Minister Jean Castex to postpone the regional and departmental elections by one week to June 20th and 27th. Confirmation is expected next week from the Senate.

Another setback in the vaccination campaign in France – Johnson & Johnson has decided to delay the rollout of its Covid-19 vaccine in Europe. In a statement the company said it was "aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots” who have received its vaccine. It said it has been reviewing these cases with European health authorities and had made the decision to "proactively delay the rollout" of its vaccine in Europe. France was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the vaccine to speed up its campaign after announcing on Monday 13th April, that vaccination was available to those over 55.

Covid figures in the Alpes Maritimes show a slight drop in the circulation of Covid - Despite seven deaths from Covid being reported in the Alpes Maritimes on Tuesday health officials say that the number of cases is slowly showing sign of decreasing. Since the start of the epidemic, Covid has killed 1,841 people in the Alpes Maritimes, 439 in nursing homes and 1,402 in hospitals.

While the number of patients in intensive care remains high and according to the Regional Health Agency there are currently 285 patients hospitalized for coronavirus, the incidence rate (which corresponds to the number of people tested positive over seven days and reported to 100,000 inhabitants) stands at 267 with is below both the regional average of 381 and the national average of 342.

One case of Covid declared in Monaco on Tuesday - In Monaco one case of Covid has been identified on Tuesday 13th April bringing the total number of residents affected since the beginning of the pandemic to 2,378. Twenty-four people are currently in hospital and 40 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

In other news

Kidnapping alert lifted - A kidnapping alert issued on Tuesday evening following the disappearance of an 8-year-old girl in the Vosges has been lifted. While the young girl has not yet been found police believe that she is with her mother who was not allowed to see her alone. The girl was kidnapped while in the care of her maternal grandmother. Anyone who may have any information is asked not to intervene but to contact the police on 0 800 36 32 68 or send an email to

Disgraced former bodyguard of Emmanuel Macron to stand trial - French President Emmanuel Macron's disgraced former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla has been ordered to stand trial for assault, three years after he was caught on camera punching protesters while working for the presidency. The Benalla affair, as it is known in France, was the first major scandal of Macron's presidency, coming just a year after the centrist president's election on a promise to restore integrity to French public life.

Loggerhead turtle - A three-kilo Loggerhead turtle is being treated at the Cap d'Antibes Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Suffering from