French and Riviera News Wednesday 5th October 2022


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