French and Riviera News Wednesday 22nd April 2020

Coronavirus - An additional nine people have died from the coronavirus in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var according to the latest figures. Two deaths occurred in hospital in the Alpes Maritimes and 7 in the Var, 3 in hospital and 4 in nursing homes. 

Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic, 338 deaths have been recorded in both these regions. In the Alpes Maritimes 270 people are currently hospitalised and 48 are in intensive care and in the Var 318 people are in hospital and 50 are in intensive care. 

The good news is that on Tuesday there were 8 fewer people hospitalized for Covid-19 in Nice. This is the largest drop since the start of the coronavirus epidemic and four people also left intensive care. 

There is also a slight drop in hospitalizations in the Var with 5 people leaving hospital on Tuesday. However, an additional patient was admitted to an intensive care unit.

Here in Monaco there were no new cases reported on Tuesday evening. 

France has registered more than 20,000 deaths related to Covid-19 infection, there are fewer admissions in hospitals and intensive care units. The country is getting ready for a gradual lockdown exit but French scientists have warned of a potential second wave of the virus.

The head of the French public health authority has announced that the coronavirus curve had passed its peak, adding that 5,683 patients were receiving intensive care for the virus on Monday 20th April, down from a peak of 7,148 on April 8th.

There is also data indicating that a person with COVID-19 in France was now infecting on average less than one other person, as opposed to three before the country went into lockdown on 17th March, more than a month ago.

Air pollution - According to research high levels of air pollution may be “one of the most important contributors” to deaths from Covid-19. The report shows that of the coronavirus deaths across 66 administrative regions in Italy, Spain, France and Germany 78% of them occurred in just five regions, and these were the most polluted.

Masks - Menton city council has announced this week the launch of "Masks for All". The fabric masks are to help limit and slow the spread of the current epidemic. More than 150,000 masks have been ordered. Distribution will be made through "drive ins" in various districts. There is a special delivery service for the elderly and vulnerable. 

In Roquebrune-Cap-Martin there are plans to distribute masks to the entire population from May 5th.  On April 8, the city ordered 30,000 washable approved masks. The city council will receive the masks at the end of April. On instructions on how to obtain the masks, an information letter on distribution methods will be send out by La Poste. As of Tuesday, residents have been invited to register via the form on the city's website For those without internet you are invited to contact, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For those living in Beausoleil distribution started on Tuesday of masks for the most vulnerable to the virus.  Surgical masks are distributed to residents over 70 at the city market from 10am to Midday on Tuesday and Thursday and at the Moneghetti market, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Wednesday and Friday.

Homeless in Nice to receive masks as of today - Meanwhile as of today the homeless in Nice will receive masks. The initiative announced on Tuesday by the city council is to ensure that "homeless people are not forgotten and that they also wear protective masks" in the face of the new coronavirus and in preparation for the end of confinement.

Police officers in Nice test positive - Five police officers at the Foch police station in Nice have reportedly tested positive for Covid 19. The officers are recovering at home and their state of health is not a source of concern according to doctors. Following the cases all police officers who may have been in contact with them were tested and gloves, get and masks were provided to prevent further spread of the virus. 

Monaco - The Palace in Monaco has said that the coronavirus pandemic will have a major impact on the state budget with an estimated deficit of nearly 500 million euros for the 2020 financial year. This amount corresponds to the exceptional support measures necessary for the Monegasque economy as well as the anticipated decline in state revenues.

It said that the gravity of the situation necessitates increased rigorous financial management, particularly for the purpose of an overall reduction in State expenditure. In this context, H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince has decided to reduce the operating expenses of the Prince's Palace by an almost 40% reduction in his endowment, from 13.2 million euros to 8 million euros.

The Palace added that Prince Albert has full confidence in the solidity of the economic and social model of the Principality of Monaco to overcome this health crisis which also has unprecedented economic consequences for Monaco.

Education - French Education Minister Jean Michel Blanquer has clarified his gradual plan for the reopening of schools from the 11th of May. He said that if a family does not want to send their child to school, this will be possible, but in that case, they will have to follow distance learning. He added that a pupil will "never be outside of compulsory education". Teachers unions have aired their concern about how teachers will coordinate being both in the classroom for those that return to class and online for those that remain at home. Monaco will also see schools reopen on May 11th. 

May 1st demonstrations - Several unions have called for the traditional 1st of May demonstrations to take place but without the usual gatherings in the streets of France. Instead, they have called for participants to post messages of support for workers on social media and some unions have also called for people to display signs on their balconies to show support.

Another event in our region has been postponed because of the pandemic. The Motorsports Games had been due to be held in October in Marseille and at the Paul Ricard circuit. The event, which had its first edition last year in Italy, is now scheduled to take place from the 22 to 24 October next year.

Former French President is still “connected” in an interview with the Parisien Newspaper - Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is currently spending the lockdown with his family at his villa at Cap Nègre in the Var, has in an interview with the Parisien newspaper said that while he is no longer President he is nonetheless “connected” and “in contact” with President Macron.

Speaking about the coronavirus and in agreement with Emmanuel Macron, Nicolas Sarkozy says he “takes Professor Raoult's hydroxychloroquine tests very seriously”. The former President is said to have confessed that he considers the professor " a great man", "with a respectable career" and "that we must listen to what he has to say". Sarkozy met with the professor on April 9th.

CCI Nice Côte d’Azur - According to a survey carried out by the Nice Côte d'Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) to which 2,487 companies replied, 93% say they are "impacted" by the measures taken to fight the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic.

A third of companies surveyed by the CCI Nice Côte d'Azur indicate that confinement measures have completely stopped their activity. This is particularly the case for restaurants, bars and hairdressing salons.

More than 10,000 businesses on the French Riviera have already made a partial activity request to the Regional Directorate for Business, Competition, Consumption and Employment in order to obtain part of the costs.

"Unidentified rolling object" - French police have controlled what has been described as an “unidentified rolling object” in south western France. The driver of the “half mountain bike, half sidecar” received a fine of 135 euros for failing to have a valid reason to be out during lockdown and no license.

J'aime Mon Bistrot / Bar Solidaire - If your're wondering how to support your local bar, restaurant and bistros which have been closed due to the coronavirus then there is a new online tool to support them. J’aime Mon Bistrot, and Bar Solidaire are just two examples of several platforms on offer and  it's simple the sites allow customers to order or make a donation to their favourite establishment online.

The owner of the restaurant, bar or bistro receives the money now, but the customer has effectively ordered in advance for food and drink they will consume when the site reopens after the end of lockdown.

Quiz Night - Finally, don't forget it's quiz night tonight. Dave Philipps who has since 2012 been the man behind the popular pub quizzes of the Blue Whales in Nice, Blue Lady Pub in Antibes , Morrison’s Lounge in Cannes and Slammers in  Monaco has created a website to reproduce the popular event online for everyone to take part during lockdown. 

Every Wednesday evening,  via the YouTube channel, there are players from Dubai, Norway, Denmark or South Africa as well as of course the loyal folk here on the Riviera it's free and open to all, all you have to do is register by going to DavesTriviaNight Facebook Page. 



The US state of Missouri has announced that it is suing the Chinese government over its handling of the coronavirus which it says has led to severe economic losses.

Lockdowns around the world due to the coronavirus has seen the streaming service Netflix has seen the number of subscribers surge this year.  Almost 16 million people created accounts in the first three months of the year, which is almost double the new signups for the final months of last year. 

While "almost all" filming around the world has halted. The home-entertainment giant's share price has climbed more than 30% this year as investors bet on its ability to benefit from people spending more time indoors.

And - Facebook is reportedly investing $5.7bn (£4.6bn) in cut-price Indian mobile internet company Reliance Jio, which is owned by the country's richest person.

The move gives Facebook a major foothold in India, where its WhatsApp chat service has 400m users and is about to launch a payments service.


Football - Amnesty International has written to the Premier League to raise their concerns over the £300m purchase of Newcastle United by a consortium of buyers including Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. Amnesty is asking Premier League chief executive Richard Masters to fully consider the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia as part of the Premier League's owners and directors test.

Clubs in Leagues One and Two in the UK believe the competitions may need to be regionalised in future to offer a better chance of survival. Several clubs are thought to be favourable towards an idea put forward by Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley, who has said that the lower leagues must revamp in order to stay in business during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Uefa is set to announce the postponed 2021 Women's European Championship will take place from 6-31 July 2022. The tournament which had been postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic is to be held in England.  Moving the Euros to 2022 will avoid two women's tournaments in the same summer.

Golf - Rory McIlroy says he would prefer the Ryder Cup be postponed for a year rather than be played behind closed doors in September.

The tournament is currently planned to be held from September 25th - 27th after all main governing bodies in golf announced a revised schedule for 2020. 


Rather unsettled predominately cloudy with possible showers improving as the day goes on highs of 20 degrees along the coast and 18 degrees inland with moderate variable winds. This evening going down to 15 degrees in Nice, Antibes and Cannes and 12 degrees in the Var with clear skies. Outlook for Thursday starting off fine clouding over by the afternoon remain much the same for Friday with highs of 22 degrees. Feeling warmer by the weekend with highs of 24 however showers and storms are forecast for both the Var and the Alpes Maritimes on Saturday and Sunday. 

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