Lunchtime News Friday 3rd April 2020

Lunchtime News Friday 3rd April 2020 

Nice port has banned access due to too many people continuing to use the area for walks and sporting activities - The prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes has prohibited walks and sporting activities in the port of Nice. Access to beaches, forests, rivers and the entire Riviera coastline had already been banned under confinement regulations. From April 3rd no more walking or jogging on the quays of the port of Nice. The whole area has been but under tougher controls due to the "persistence of a regular and significant presence of people for other reasons than their professional activity." The prefecture stresses that "the quays of the port of Nice do not constitute a public space essential for individual journeys". Until at least April 15, travel related to individual physical activity, walking and the needs of pets are prohibited throughout the port of Nice  as well as on Place Île- de-Beauté.   The fines are now 135 euros if the trip cannot be justified.

Fishermen - Fishermen in the Alpes-Maritimes continue to raise their nets despite a very sharp decrease in their sales linked to the closure of restaurants and the confinement of their customers. In recent days, Denis Genovese, in Antibes, has been spending more time behind the wheel of his van than at the helm of his boat. "I have 16 deliveries today. As the customers no longer come to our stalls, we will deliver them. It is not at all profitable but at least we make our regulars happy!"   Since March 17th, customers have deserted the stalls of Antibes, such as those of Cannes or Villefranche-sur-Mer. Most importantly, the restaurants have all closed. "80% of our turnover has disappeared" calculates Denis Genovese.   "On the water however we are alone in the world".


Confinement measures likely to be extended - French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced that the confinement measures put in place on 17 March are likely to be extended. In a televised interview he said the French health system can withstand the coronavirus if people follow the measures. He warned people against leaving their homes for spring break. Philippe said the lockdown will likely be extended beyond the current 15 April deadline, "probably longer" if the health conditions require it. He said that "Authorities are considering how to ease the restrictions, but deconfinement will "not be for tomorrow".  Philippe added that it will be gradual, and several scenarios are under consideration.  The strategy depends on the availability of tests, which will be deployed widely.

Easter break - The Easter school break starts Friday for the Paris region, and though schools are shut, many people had already planned vacations. The French Prime Minister has warned people not to leave. "There must not be any vacation departures in the coming days. All those who are breaking the rules will be sanctioned," he said.

Meanwhile the Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has increased police checks on highways and train stations (though train service has been reduced to six per cent of its normal capacity).

Education - Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer called on students to take a break from their online courses, which teachers have been struggling to put into place since schools closed on 16 th March. The Prime Minister warned Thursday that the baccalaureate exam will not be held in “normal conditions”. He said he would support having students being evaluated on their work throughout the school year.  

Health system - The prime minister said that the French health system will withstand the coronavirus epidemic, but everyone must “remain concentrated, mobilised and vigilant”. Official figures on Thursday showed 4,503 Covid-19 deaths in French hospitals, with at least 884 elderly people who died in nursing homes since the beginning of the epidemic.

Question for a balcony - During confinement, due to the coronavirus epidemic, the days at home can seem long. In Marseille, a resident found has launching a new game "Questions for a balcony", for the inhabitants of her neighborhood based on the famous program of France 3 "Questions for a champion". From her balcony, the young woman asks questions to the two street teams, the even numbers, facing the odd numbers. "Be careful, this question concerns Marseille. What are the two specialties of l'Estaque?", Launches the girl to the inhabitants of her neighborhood. "Panisse and le chichi", respond in the heart of some street residents. Well done! Applause and next question ... In this difficult period of confinement, she began with a general question about the year of the victory of the Blues at the World Cup in football. The questions are then harsher and more related to his city. The Marseillaise continues with questions about Marcel Pagnol. A great opportunity to mobilize and entertain people in his neighborhood and which is good for morale. 


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