French and Riviera News Wednesday 29th December 2021


Avalanches - A 44-year-old man and his 17-year-old daughter have been slightly injured after being swept away by an avalanche on a ski slope at the Foux d'Allos in the Alpes de Haute Provence. The avalanche occurred shortly before 3pm on Tuesday December 28th. Both father and daughter were rescued by helicopter and taken to the hospital of Digne-les-Bains. Meanwhile a 46-year-old woman was injured in an avalanche at the Col du Lautaret in the Haute Alpes again on Tuesday afternoon. She was rescued by three other skiers who witnessed the incident. Météo France has reported an avalanche risk level of 4-5 in the Hautes-Alpes with the prefecture issuing advice to "avoid outings in the high mountains outside of the marked areas".

Motorist flees road check - A motorist has been arrested in Cannes after fleeing a police road check. The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday morning when the individual fled the road check but was later forced to stop when his vehicle caught fire. Under the influence of alcohol, the man was arrested by police. He is to appear in court on February 22nd.

Man dies at train station in Strasbourg after fatal fall - A 43-year-old man has died after a fatal fall down a flight of stairs at the train station of Strasbourg. The accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon. Witnesses raised the alarm and emergency services intervened but were unable to save the victim.

10-year-old given adult dose of covid vaccine - Parents of a 10-year-old child have filed a complaint after she mistakenly received an adult dose of the covid vaccine. The young child was injected with half a dose of the Moderna vaccine intended for adults at the Ponts vaccination centre in Normandy. The nurse noticed the error a few seconds after the injection and immediately reported it. Increased monitoring was then recommended by the centre's doctor.

New record in number of covid cases in France - On Tuesday France's Public Health agency revealed that 179,807 people had been infected with covid during the last 24 hours in France. A new record for the number of infections reported in the space of a day. The previous peak was identified on Saturday at 104,611. Intensive care units admitted 417 new patients on Tuesday compared to 328 the day before, for a total of 3,416. Nearly 700,000 people also received an injection of the Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday. In total, 51,676,653 people have had a complete vaccination schedule (76.6% of the total population) since the start of the vaccination campaign in France.

According to the latest official figures, 5.3 million people aged 12 and over have not yet received any doses of the vaccine, of which more than one million are aged 65 and over.

Health Minister Olivier Véran expected last week to see the daily number of new Covid cases reach 100,000 at the end of Christmas. But the figures revealed by Public Health France largely exceed the forecasts from the authorities.  On average, over the last seven days, 87,214 people have tested positive.

Covid on the rise in the PACA - Meanwhile the covid epidemic is still on the rise in the Paca region. According to the latest report from the ARS, the incidence rate is close to the 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitant's mark. The latest figures from the ARS Paca published on Tuesday 28th December, show that 200 people have been hospitalized in one week with a total of 1,436 Covid patients in hospital including 477 in intensive care (76 more than the previous week).

In Monaco 80 new cases of covid were identified on Tuesday 28th December bringing the total number of people affected to 4,889. 32 people are currently in hospital and 346 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Patients in Antibes hospital to be transferred to Lilli today - And the Antibes Juan les Pins Hospital Center has announced that two Covid patients will be transferred to Lille today Wednesday 29th December, in order to relieve services. At the hospital the bed occupancy rate for Covid patients has reached 130%. 13 beds have been opened for this unit which normally only has 10. The patients who will be transferred by plane are in a "stabilized state" but they still need to be monitored.

New Year fireworks in Cannes - Faced with the new wave of covid, the French Prime Minister has asked mayors to cancel fireworks for New Year's Eve. But Cannes town hall intends to maintain the event. In Cannes, there could be a firework display for the New Year as the mayor David Lisnard wishes to maintain the event scheduled for Friday December 31 at midnight. The town hall has promised a strict protocol to ensure the health safety of spectators, including the wearing of a mask on the Croisette and a large municipal police force mobilized to enforce the health protocol, while even hiring additional security guards to supervise the event.

French singers' questions new restrictions - French singers including Julien Doré and Eddy de Pretto have reacted to new restrictions announced by the Prime Minister which concern concerts but not political meetings. The Prime Minister announced on Monday the return of limiting the number of people for seated concerts and the end of standing concerts. These rules, however, will not apply to political gatherings.

Jean Castex announced the return on Monday of 2,000 people maximum indoors and 5,000 outdoors. And standing concerts will simply be banned. But this new framework, on the other hand, will not concern political meetings. Jean Castex considered that "political and electoral activities are subject to specific provisions in our constitutional law which provide them with even stronger protection". Clearly, the rules applied to concerts and major events, in order to fight in particular against the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, will not apply to events organized by candidates for the Elysee Palace.  Several artists have greeted the news with disappointment and irony, starting with singer Julien Doré. The latter posted on Instagram a poster of his tour, replacing the "in concert" with "in meeting".

Rail link between Nice and Marseille - The public inquiry into the first two phases of the future rail link between Nice and Marseille prior to its declaration of public utility, will be opened from 17th January to February 28. The first phase of the New Provence Côte d'Azur Line (LNPCA) includes the construction of a station near Nice airport, the opening of a Toulon RER and developments in Marseille which are to being from 2023. The second phase concerns improvements between Cannes and Nice and the construction of a tunnel under Marseille, the opening of which is planned "by 2035".

The financing of these two phases is estimated at 3.5 billion euros and was the subject of an agreement in April between the government and local authorities of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur: 40% of the sum must be provided by the State and 40% by the communities, the remaining 20% ​​to be requested from Europe.

Personal time capsules – Finally, it can sometimes be difficult to express your feelings or emotions to a close friend or loved one. But a company launched in 2020 in Valbonne is offering just that. e-Tell You offers an innovative concept: a personal time capsule. "This is a message that we can send in the future, to whoever we want," explains Patricia Litardi, director and co-founder of the company. Thanks to the service it is possible to send a message to the person of your choice in the more or less near future. The company is responsible for keeping the digital or handwritten message and sending it on the requested date. Its director Patricia Litardi guarantees the efficiency and confidentiality.


The Paris Stock Exchange has exceeded its previous peak dating from November 17th thanks to a new gain of 0.57%.  French investors are preparing to end 2021 on an excellent note despite the sudden slump on November 26th following the discovery of the Omicron covid variant. Less than 20 points from its all-time high at the close on Monday (+0.76%), the CAC 40 on Tuesday recorded a new closing high, at 7,181.11 points (+0.57%), the first since November 17.

After meeting with the Ministry of the Economy, representatives of nightclubs in France have still "not had an answer" on the date of their reopening. The closure is currently in place until January 6th but following new restrictions announced on Monday an extension is more than likely.

Meanwhile the new ban also announced on Monday on drinking and eating on public transport is proving to be, what the French would call a real "casse-tete", as many try to understand the new restriction. The ban on the consumption of food and drink in public transport including long distance journeys is to come into effect on Monday 3rd January for a period of three weeks. Consuming food or drink even while sitting in one's seat, whether by train, plane or bus is forbidden yet many have drawn attention, not to short journeys, but long journeys and in particular long-haul flights or train journeys which can exceed 8 hours.

On Tuesday morning French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a 100 euros monthly bonus for nurses in intensive care units. Castex made the announcement while visiting the Intercommunal Hospital centre of Créteil in the Val-de-Marne. The bonus will be paid from January 2022 and will concern roughly 24,000 nurses who work in critical care units.

According to the Financial Times, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), a London-based asset manager and biotech shareholder, is demanding more transparency from Moderna on "access to its products, such as pricing". In particular, LGIM would like to know to what extent U.S. government subsidies played a role in the development of the product. In total, the United States has donated $2.5 billion to help Moderna develop its covid vaccine. A subsidy that obliges, according to LGIM, the laboratory to more transparency.

According to data published this week by the notaries of Greater Paris, the 5 nationalities which lead the real estate purchases in the French capital have been revealed. The Portuguese come first followed by the Chinese, Algerians, Romanians and the Italians.


Football - Leicester beat Liverpool to leave the Reds six points off the top of the Premier League table as Mohamed Salah missed his first Premier League penalty for Liverpool in over four years.

In the Premier League other matches last night Crystal Palace beat Norwich 3-0. Southampton and Tottenham drew 1-1 and West Ham beat Watford 4-1. This evening in the Premier League Chelsea play Brighton and Brentford against Manchester City.

American football - Legendary American football coach and commentator John Madden has died at the age of 85. The league said he died unexpectedly and did not give a cause.

Madden led the then-Oakland Raiders to their first Super Bowl victory in 1977 and became a hugely popular television analyst after retiring from coaching. He later became the face of Madden NFL Football, one of the most successful sports video games ever.


Highs of 17 in Menton and Nice. 19 degrees in Cannes with a gentle breeze and sunny intervals. In Saint Tropez highs of 19 degrees with gusty winds and sunny intervals. This evening going down to 9 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 13 degrees in the Var with clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday. Sunny with a gentle breeze and highs of 17 across the region.



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