Lunchtime News Monday 10th May 2021

News

Four people arrested in connection with police shooting - Two more suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting of a police officer in Avignon last week. Officer Eric Masson was shot dead during an anti-drug operation and four suspects have since been arrested, including three at a pay toll near Avignon as they tried to flee to Spain on Sunday May 9th.  All four are reportedly already known to the police. France’s Interior Minister Gérarld Darmanin has this morning congratulated the national police adding that “the crime will not go unpunished”. Meanwhile French Prime Minister Jean Castex will head a ceremony in Avignon tomorrow Tuesday 11th May, to pay tribute to the policeman killed. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by the Minister of the Interior.

Vaccination campaign in France - France’s vaccination campaign against Covid is accelerating with the Head of State announcing that nearly 20 million people in France have received the first dose reaching the target set out by the French government for mid-May.

Vaccination against Covid opens to everyone over 50 today in France and on Wednesday May 12th will be made available to those over 18 as and when a slot becomes available.

Covid self-testing in high schools - Covid self-tests for high school students should theoretically be distributed from today. However according to school heads this could be delayed due to the organization involved. In total, 60 million self-tests have been ordered by the Education ministry. The plan is for student volunteers to carry them out once a week.

Travel from UK to France - England has not placed France on its green travel list from May the 17th for internationaln travel. It has instead been  classified as amber. This means that travel to France is not recommended. 

Amber means that all travellers will need to self-isolate for 10 days when they return to England. Obligatory Covid-19 tests will be taken on day two and eight. An optional extra test on day five could allow leaving isolation early if it is negative. A package of the two essential tests costs £160-350. Travellers to France will also need to take a test in France before returning to the UK.

Weather alert - The Alpes Maritimes has been placed on a yellow weather alert with thunderstorms and heavy rain forecast. Météo France issued the weather alert from 9am this morning. It’s in place until Tuesday morning. Meanwhile five other departments in south eastern France have been placed on an orange flood alert by meteo France due to heavy rain.  Regions affected include the Ardèche, Haute-Loire, Loire and the Rhone.

SNCF - The SNCF railway company has launched a campaign today warning people not to take selfies on tracks after a rise in the number of incidents during the coronavirus pandemic. France’s rail network said people were trespassing and taking dangerous risks to capture images at a time of reduced rail services and surveillance. The SNCF today launched the new video series on social media networks using the hashtag #SurLesRails (#OnRails).

Poll shows that fewer French people see the National Rally as a threat to democracy - A recent poll has shown that fewer French people see the National Rally far right party as a danger to democracy in France. The poll revealed that 24% consider that Marine Le Pen would make a good President of the Republic, a similar level to that of February 2017, two months before the 2017 presidential election. With less than a year before the 2022 presidential election, for the first time since January 2013, less than half of French people (49%) believe that the far-right party represents a danger for democracy in France. 55% of French think that the National Rally is capable of coming to power one day.

Climate change protests - Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Paris and other French cities on Sunday to call for more ambitious measures in the fight against climate change. The nationwide protests come after the lower house of parliament approved a climate bill aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions that environment activists say doesn’t go far or fast enough.

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