French and Riviera News Wednesday 5th October 2022

News

France’s Health Minister indicates possible return of masks on public transport due to rise in covid cases - France’s Health Minister François Braun has indicated that compulsory mask wearing could possibility return to public transport in France due to the rise in covid cases. The announcement comes as figures from the covid tracker show, an average of 44,536 positive cases every day, that’s up 34% from last week. Critical care admissions are also on the rise, up 45% in one week.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 incidence rate has risen in Monaco. Numbers have also risen significantly recently in the surrounding Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region. In its weekly update on Covid numbers the Monaco government said that the incidence rate per 100,000 people in the week to last Sunday evening was 197, up from 138 the previous week. The positive rate of tests performed on residents and non-residents was 13.2%. In the week ending the 2nd of October, 77 new positive cases of Covid-19 were detected in the Principality. As at that date 4 people, including 1 resident, were hospitalized at the Princess Grace Hospital but nobody was being treated in intensive care. 39 people were being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Passengers evacuated after fire breaks out on barge - Nearly a hundred people have been evacuated after a fire broke out on a barge on the river Rhône in Arles. The incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon. No injuries were reported. The fire started in the engine room on the starboard side and about forty firefighters were on site. For the time being the cause of the fire remains unknown.

Disaster-stricken campsites in Biot and Antibes say they have been abandoned – Campsites in Biot and Antibes which were hit by the 2015 floods on October 3rd, resulting in the death of twenty people on the Côte d’Azur, say they have still not received any compensation. Seven years later and most of the campsites flooded by a “Mediterranean episode” on October 3rd, 2015, no longer exist. However, several campsite owners which remain, have since taken legal action and asked for compensation, but the administrative court and the Marseilles court of appeal rejected everything, on the grounds that they were working in the red zone. Now the three of the four rejected campsites will pursue the case before the Council of State. Before seizing the European Court of Human Rights, if they are not heard.

Energy consumption - Faced with the risk of the overconsumption of energy, French provider Enedis is to temporarily deactivate the hot water tanks between midday and 2pm of households in France which have a peak hours and off-peak hours contract. In order to do this, Enedis will be able to turn off the hot water tanks of certain customers with a Linky meter to relieve the network at this time of day. If the off-peak hours are spread between 8pm and 8am a.m., there will be no change. Which will be the case for around 60% of Enedis customers. But if the off-peak hours are split between 12pm and 5pm and the rest between 8pm and 8am then your hot water tank will be deactivated between midday and 2pm which is the case for the remaining 40% of customers, or around 5 million households in France. However, do not panic, if your hot water tank is programmed to heat at night, this will not change anything. If it must also heat during off-peak hours at noon, then the "automatic switching signal for controlled electrical uses", or your hot water tank, will then be temporarily deactivated. The measure will come into effect from next week October 15th and run until April 15th.

Fan zones in Nice and Cannes during the World Cup will depend on France’s performance - While several major French cities have refused to broadcast the World Cup matches, the cities of Nice and Cannes will base their decision depending on the results of the French team. On Tuesday both the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi and the mayor of Cannes David Lisnard indicated that a decision would be made according to whether France gets through to the final or semi-final. On Monday, Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nancy and Reims joined the list of French cities refusing for humanitarian and environmental reasons to promote World Cup matches in Qatar. No fan zones or broadcast of matches on giant screens will be organized, whatever the results of Blues. The World Cup runs from November 20th to December 18th.

Three major banks to merge their cashpoints - Three major banks in France are to merge their cashpoint networks from early 2023. BNP Paribas, Crédit Mutuel and Société Générale, will enter an "operational phase" at the start of next year. The sharing of the network will allow customers of the three banks to benefit from free "enhanced" access to the services offered by their banks, namely cash deposits and withdrawals, check deposits, consultation of accounts or the printing of bank details.

Nice airport donates products seized to charity - Nice International airport has donated some of the products seized during baggage checks to the charity “Restos du Coeur”. Every year, hundreds of products are destroyed after being seized at airports. Products which do not comply with the safety rules imposed for flying. To fight against waste, the airport and the Restos du Cœur have chosen to join forces.

Major roadworks on RM6202 - Road works have begun on the RM6202 between the Gare de la Tinée and Mescla ahead of the ski season. The major security work began this week in order to allow from December, two-way traffic on the RM6202. The work is expected to last two months and amounts to 830,000 euros.

Train tickets on sale for the Christmas holidays - From today it is possible to book your train ticket until January 2nd for trips by TGV and Intercités and until July th7, 2023 for Ouigo. You can already start planning your Christmas holidays as the SNCF puts on sale train tickets for the end of year celebrations, and more precisely for trips between December 11th and January 2nd, 2023. According to Le Parisien, 9 million TGV, Ouigo and Intercités tickets are offered over this period, one million more than last year.  In order to benefit from the best prices, it is advisable to book as soon as possible, even if it means exchanging your ticket a little later. The SNCF offers free exchange and refund of a ticket up to three days before departure.

Batmobile spotted on the Riviera - An identical replica of the Batmobile from the 1989 film Batman starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson has been spotted on the roads of the Riviera and here in the Principality of Monaco. Registered in Ukraine it does not go unnoticed it’s owner however remains a mystery.

Business

The boss of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk has agreed to proceed with the acquisition of Twitter. Following the news, the company's stock was briefly suspended, before climbing 22%, closing the day at $52. The social network confirmed in a brief statement "to have received a letter" and to have the intention "to conclude the transaction" at the defined price.

European MPs have voted for a law requiring all new portable devices to use the same type of charging cable.

Smartphones and tablets, including the Apple iPhone and iPad, would have to use a USB-C charger from 2024, while laptop manufacturers would have until 2026 to make the change. There were 602 votes in favour and 13 against, with eight abstaining. Member states are expected to grant approval on 24 October, before the rule is signed into law at the parliament.

Sentencing of former Theranos boss Elizabeth Holmes has been delayed as a judge considers whether the testimony of a key witness in her high-profile trial was truthful. Holmes requested a new trial after claiming that federal prosecutors presented misleading evidence. She was convicted in January on four of 11 counts of defrauding investors in the blood-testing firm. The decision marks the latest twist in a case that has gripped Silicon Valley.

Sport

Football - Liverpool cruised past Rangers in the Champions League with a 2-0 win on Tuesday night. Jurgen Klopp's side have struggled for form this season but a disappointing Scottish team represented the perfect opposition to return to winning ways as Liverpool moved closer to a place in the knockout phase.

Cricket - Jonny Bairstow has won the Bob Willis Trophy after being voted as England's player of the year by the Cricket Writers' Club. The batter made six Test centuries in 2022, including four in a home summer which saw England win six of their seven matches.

Formula One - Ex-Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone will face trial in October 2023 over an alleged failure to declare about £400m in overseas assets. The 91-year-old appeared at in court on Tuesday. He is charged with a single count of fraud by false representation. Ecclestone, who denied the allegations in August, is accused of failing to declare a trust in Singapore with a bank account containing funds of around $650m. The charge brought against him in July followed an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs, which said the probe had been "complex and worldwide", relating to a period between 13 July 2013 and 5 October 2016.

And - Former Australia captain David Pocock has been named Athlete of the Year at the BBC Green Sport Awards. Pocock, 34, is the first recipient of the award which recognises a professional sportsperson who has advocated for, raised awareness of, or instigated action on environmental and/or climate change issues in the past 12 months.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 23 degrees in Nice, Saint Paul de Vence. 24 degrees in Saint Maxime and Saint Tropez. This evening going down to 13 degrees in the Var and 14 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes with clear skies.

Outlook for tomorrow and Friday remaining fine highs of 23-24 degrees.

Sunrise     07.32hr                                 Sunset 17.04hr

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