Lunchtime News Friday 22nd January 2021


PCR Covid test for all European travelers arriving in France - A PCR Covid test will be mandatory for all European travellers arriving in France from midnight on Sunday. The measure will only be exempt for frontier workers and land transport. France is stepping up its controls along with the European Union to fight against the spread of variants of the coronavirus. The test must be carried out 72 hours before departure. The measure announced by the French President following Thursday’s European council meeting devoted to the health crisis reinforces a measure already in place for all foreign travellers to the EU including the UK, who must provide a negative test, quarantine of seven days and carry out a second test at the end of the quarantine period.

British variant - French Health Minister Olivier Veran has said that if the so-called British variant of the coronavirus increases "significantly" then a new lockdown would "probably become an absolute necessity”. Meanwhile a survey carried out by the Cerballiance group has shown that the British variant is already two to three times more present in the Alpes Maritimes than in the rest of France. The study carried out on January 7th and 8th, analyzed 300 positive PCR test results recorded over 36 hours in an area ranging from Toulon to Menton.

Baccalaureate exams cancelled in favour of continuous testing – Meanwhile France’s Education Minister Jean Michel Blanquer, has confirmed that the baccalaureate exams scheduled for March will be cancelled in favour of continuous testing. In a letter addressed to French teachers, the minister explained that taking into account the current health crisis the “evaluation will not be done through tests but on the basis of averages over the last three terms as well as teacher assessments”.

Macron promises measures to help university students - And following protests in which students in France called for more help to tackle loneliness and financial problems, French President Emmanuel Macron has promised all university students two meals a day for one euro to help them cope during lockdown. Speaking at a meeting with students in Paris on Thursday, Macron said "We must be able to provide better support”. The government said it would also provide subsidies to pay for counselling and other mental health services.

Vaccination and masks - Speaking on TF1, France’s Health Minister Olivier Véran has announced that France will be “able to vaccinate its entire population by the end of August if the vaccines ordered are validated by the health authorities. The minister also announced a ban on home made masks, which according to France’s health authorities do not meet the necessary requirements in protecting people from possible new variants of Covid, adding that while in theory people could be fined, police are not able to check everyone’s masks and the government calls on the French to act responsibly by using category 1 masks. From tomorrow some 45 million free masks will be sent by La Poste to some seven million French people.  

Weather warning - Meteo France have issued several weather warnings for our area. There are yellow warnings in force from 9am until at least 4pm today with heavy rain and flooding and storms in both the Var and the Alpes Maritimes. In addition, there's a yellow warning for those same times for icy conditions in the Alpes Maritimes. There's also a yellow warning in force for avalanches in the Alpes Maritimes. The Var is also under a yellow warning for high waves and coastal flooding from 11am to at least 4pm. Full details of the warnings are available at



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