Lunchtime News Monday 10th January 2022

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Protests against vaccination pass - French authorities say more than 105,000 people have taken part in protests across the country against the introduction of a new covid vaccination pass. A new draft law would in effect ban unvaccinated people from public life. France’s Interior Ministry said that 34 people were arrested and some 10 police officers were injured after the protests turned violent in some places in the French capital. The bill, which passed its first reading in the lower house of France's parliament on Thursday, would remove the option of showing a negative covid test to gain access to a host of public venues. Instead, people would have to be fully vaccinated to visit a range of spaces, including bars and restaurants.

SNCF reduces number of trains from today - The SNCF has announced that due to a 30% drop in reservations in just one week the number of TGVs circulating is to be reduced from today Monday January 10th, with one out of ten TGVs being cancelled and two out of ten InterCity’s being deprogrammed. Passengers whose trains are cancelled will be contacted and may change their ticket or be reimbursed.

People arriving from the UK and fully vaccinated will still have to quarantine in France - Vaccinated people from the UK who must give an essential reason to come to France, will still have to observe a 10 day isolation period which may be shortened if a covid test is taken at least 48 hours after arrival and is negative. They must register for a prefecture decree before coming to France, which refers to fines of up to €1,300 for failing to comply. However the rules for the UK may be set to change soon. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said last Wednesday that ministers would this week consider lifting border restrictions with the UK.

French President awarded “personality of the year” by French wine magazine – Meanwhile French President Emmanuel Macron has become the first head of state to be awarded the title of "personality of the year" by the Revue du Vin de France wine magazine. The title, for 2022, comes thanks to his support for France's wine industry, whose "extraordinary richness" he has praised. Organisers said that the honour was bestowed upon Macron because he "systematically defends wine", whereas his predecessors were either "indifferent" or "adversaries" of the drink. Macron made an especially good impression on the wine sector in 2018 when he made assurances that during his term in office there would be no changes to toughen the Evin law that regulates advertising alcoholic beverages since 1991. This came to the great displeasure of organisations fighting against alcoholism.

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