French and Riviera News Wednesday July 14th 2021


14th July 2016 - Ceremonies are taking place in Nice and other towns and cities across the country today to remember those who died in the 2016 terrorist atrocity on the Promenade des Anglais. On the 5th anniversary of the attack, the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi will lead the remembrance. 86 people died and more than 200 were injured when a radicalised truck driver ploughed his vehicle into a large crowd of people during the Bastille Day celebrations killing many instantly and leaving scores more with life changing injuries. Security ahead of tonight’s celebrations are tight in Nice and all over the country as authorities bid to prevent any attempt to stage a terrorist incident. President Macron will lead the annual Bastille Day parade in Paris which will be larger than last year with coronavirus restrictions eased.

Vaccine stampede - Vaccination centres all over France have seen long queues form following the announcement of tighter restrictions and mandatory jabs for health care workers. On Monday, President Macron said that health care workers would be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by the 15th of September or lose their right to go to work or get paid. The use of the French government health pass is also to be extended on the 1st of August and will have to be shown before admittance to any establishment welcoming more than 50 people including bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and fitness centres.

10,000 people in Nice registered for vaccination soon after Mr Macron had finished speaking and there has been a 20 percent increase in demand in Antibes. The vaccination centre inside the Cap 3000 shopping centre in St Laurent du Var will be open today without an appointment necessary despite it being a bank holiday.

Health pass where? There appears to be some confusion amongst the public over the requirement to show the health pass before being allowed to enter establishments holding more than 50 people. The Health Minister Olivier Veran has said that a full list of where the health pass must be shown will be published in the coming days but there is some ambiguity at the moment. It appears that the pass will have to be presented before admittance to a large shopping centre but not necessarily to a supermarket. Hospitals and all medical establishments will be on the list as will most large commercial shops and public buildings. Children under the age of 12 will be exempt from the new regulations and the 12 to 17 year old age group will not be required to produce a health pass until the end of August.

Tunisia - The government has placed Tunisia on the red list for travel owing to the worsening COVID-19 situation in the country. Only people who are fully vaccinated against the virus will be permitted to travel to Tunisia and only those with “essential reasons” to enter France from the country will be allowed in. Anyone arriving in France from Tunisia will be required to provide a negative PCR test of no more than 48 hours old and will have to isolate for 10 days.

Cannes 2021 - There are 3 movies in the Palme d’Or competition today as the 74th Cannes Film Festival reaches its climax this weekend. “Les Olympiades” or “Paris 13th District” by Jacques Audiard deals with the complex relationships between a group of young adults while “The Story of my Wife” from the Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi is based on the 1942 novel of the same name by Milan Furst. Lea Seydoux, Gils Naber and Louis Garrel star in the tale of an unhappy ship captain who suspects his wife of infidelity. The third competition film today is “Red Rocket” from Sean Baker, a comedy drama about a washed up adult film star who returns to his small hometown in Texas, even though nobody there really wants him back.

With the jury led by Spike Lee having now got plenty of celluloid under their belts, the critics are starting to speculate as to who might win the big award this year. Front runners include “The Worst Person in the World” from Norway’s Joaquim Trier, Catherine Corsini’s “The Divide” and “Lingui, the Sacred Bonds” by Chad’s Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. There are still two days of full competition after today before the jury makes up its mind and the closing ceremony on Saturday night.

Drowning - There have been 79 fatal drowning accidents around France in just one month. Figures for June show that 79 people lost their lives in water accidents and that there were a total of 314 incidents requiring medical intervention. The figures are a 58 percent increase on the last available statistics from June 2019 and 21 percent of the fatalities involved young children under 5. Most of the fatalities occurred in the sea followed by private swimming pools, rivers, streams and lakes. Authorities