Lunchtime News Friday 2nd April 2021


Ban on alcohol in public spaces - Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced that Alcoholic drinks will be prohibited in French parks and other outdoor public spaces as part of the new limited nationwide lockdown to stem the Covid-19 crisis,. Addressing the National Assembly, France’s lower house of parliament, Castex, also said authorities would be quick to disperse groups of more than six people on riverbanks or squares. The Prime Minister said he "unreservedly" condemned people who had not been respecting the rules. 

Closure of schools - French President Emmanuel Macron announced the closure of schools which had been the government's last resort in the fight against the spread of Covid,  and systematic work-from-home protocols. Macron hopes to ease pressure on hospitals facing a new surge in coronavirus cases that are overwhelming intensive care units. But the Head of State refrained from demanding that people stay in their homes or avoid socialising completely, and authorised travel between regions over the coming Easter weekend.

"Third Way" -  French President Emmanuel Macron has taken great pride in choosing a so-called "third way" to tackle the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic but his strategy is increasingly condemned. 

The number of new daily cases reached over 59,000 on Wednesday and as the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units crossed 5,000 earlier this week for the first time in 11 months. The nationwide infection rate has now doubled over the past three weeks. Since January and February, French scientists have been warning of trouble ahead and doctors had urged the government to impose stricter measures than the nationwide curfew introduced in mid-December. But in his televised address, Macron offered no mea culpa, doubling down on his assertion that his refusal to reimpose a harsh lockdown -- like the one first rolled out in the spring of 2020 -- was the right call.

Carrefour staff strike action - The CFDT union has called for Carrefour staff across France to take strike action tomorrow Saturday 3rd April against working conditions. The strike action could see Carrefour stores in the Alpes-Maritimes in Antibes, Nice TNL and Lingostière as well as the Carrefour in Fontvieille in Monaco affected.

Vaccination - Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts-de-France region, wants France to vaccinate "all professions that are on the front line". Speaking to French media this morning Bertrand said that he wants vaccination to be offered "as a priority" to people who cannot work remotely.

More than 12 million doses of the vaccine against Covid-19 are expected in April, according to Alain Fischer, the chairman of the Council on the vaccine strategy in France. To which Xavier Bertrand reacts calling for "transparency" on the number of vaccines available. Adding that "last weekend, in his region, there were fewer vaccinations than expected. Centers had to close. He concluded that “when we are told there are more doses then there should be more doses”.

Incidence rate - For the third time since the start of the Covid epidemic, the French government has decided to introduce a lockdown for the whole of France. The incidence rate is one of the indicators most closely monitored by the authorities, it corresponds to the number of new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants, while it is difficult to compare March 2021 to March of last year due to the increase in the number of tests carried out, recent weeks have seen that the number of cases increase considerably, all over the country. Many intensive care units are saturated or close to saturation if we compare the number of people currently in intensive care to the number of beds available per department in December 2019.

Cashier fired for buying a baguette and a sweet potatoe during her work break - A cashier at a supermarket in Strasbourg has been dismissed for serious misconduct. According to reports the woman had failed to scrupulously follow company rules when making a purchase during her break last January, a baguette and a sweet potato, an act forbidden by the internal regulations. After months of work on the front line against the coronavirus, the employee has just received a letter of dismissal for serious misconduct, she has since decided to take legal action. The Leclerc group did not wish to answer reporters but announced that an investigation had been opened.

Firefighters - Firefighters in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin have been mobilized as part of the vaccination campaign against Covid. A vaccination center has just opened and plans to carry out 140 vaccinations per day the first week

The vaccinations of the Moderna and Pfizer laboratories are available to all people from the 15 municipalities of Rivieira provided they are over 65 years old or for those over 50 and at risk.







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