Lunchtime News Monday 28th September 2020


Covid-19 restrictions - New restrictions to fight the Covid-19 pandemic are coming into force in many parts of France. In Paris, bars will now have to close their doors at 10 p.m., while in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, bars and restaurants are closed.

Meanwhile Renaud Muselier president of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region, has announced that he has filed a collective action against the decree for interim relief.

Doctors call for immediate action - A group of seven doctors including infectious disease specialist Karine Lacombe and public health professor Philippe Amouyel, from the Lille University Hospital have called for “immediate action” from this weekend due to the current Covid-19 situation saying that “drastic measures are needed in order to avoid a second wave which would prove much more difficult to manage for hospitals and intensive care units than the first.”

The doctors warn that "Without strong measures to fight against the epidemic, the number of patients admitted each day in intensive care in a month will be around 650, which is equivalent to the number experienced at the maximum of the first wave, exceeding 1,200 in mid-November".

The group of doctors demands that "everywhere, and at all times", the measures announced by the government are accompanied by "strict respect for the wearing of masks and barrier measures" and that all activities where this is not possible be suspended.

The group concluded that if these measures are "applied from this weekend and maintained for 2 to 3 weeks, they could bring the level of the epidemic back to that which France experienced last June”.

Covid-19 Monaco - Five new cases of Covid-19 have been declared in the Principality and one 91-year-old coronavirus patient has died at the Princess Grace Hospital.

To date in Monaco 210 residents have been affected by Covid-19 and two people have died. Nine patients are currently hospitalised including 5 residents and 30 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Center.

In other news

Fire - A fire has destroyed three restaurants in Saint Laurent du Var. The blaze broke out in the early hours of this morning on the promenade des Flots Bleus. Firefighters have reportedly contained the blaze and an investigation has been launched to determine the cause.

Mushroom season - As mushroom season begins the regional health authority has warned people to be careful when picking mushroom. Thousands of people are poisoned every year in France by mushrooms. Mushroom pickers are advised to collect mushrooms that "you know perfectly well, to not pick mushrooms near potentially polluted sites and do not consume mushrooms identified through a smartphone mushroom recognition application, due to the high risk of error".


Strike action by nurses in Dijon - Nurses in the operating theatres of the University Hospital in Dijon have gone on strike this morning in protest against the refusal of the “management of the hospital to apply a salary increase which other hospitals are already applying”.

Senate - France's Senate vote on Sunday has seen the right-wing and centre parties hold onto their majority. Half of France's Senate is reelected every three years but this year, the reelection of six senators representing French citizens overseas will be delayed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Green Party, meanwhile, which won several of France's major cities in June's municipal elections, said they now had enough seats to form a political group in the Senate.

French President Emmanuel Macron's centre-right party, however, struggled to increase seats in the Senate, winning seven to add to the 13 they already have in the upper chamber.

Poll - A poll carried out by Odoxa and published today, has shown that 54% of French people want to see the return of former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to the political scene.

More than 80 days after his departure from Matignon, the mayor of Le Havre has seen almost two-thirds of those surveyed (63%) give a positive opinion with an increase of 20 points compared to a previous survey in September 2019.

In detail, the French consider him dynamic (64%), competent (63%), solid (62%), sympathetic (61%) and charismatic (54%).

According to the same poll, Emmanuel Macron's confidence rating fell by one point to 38%, and that of Prime Minister Jean Castex stood at 40%, eight points below that of Édouard Philippe in June.

Snowfall - The Alps and the Pyrenees has seen early snowfall with temperatures dropping significantly. Most of the snow has fallen above 1,500 metres and authorities in the Hautes-Pyrénées have closed several mountain roads. More snow is expected at even lower altitudes over the coming days.

And Finally 

An ostrich is set to be removed from a safari park - because he thinks he’s a zebra.

Flightless bird Blue has buried his head in the sand over breeding duties after identifying as one of the striped herd.

The ostrich is regularly seen running and playing with the other zebra and appears to eat grass and even swoosh his phantom tail.

A spokesperson at the safari park in Wiltshire said Blue has had an identity crisis - he just wants to be a zebra.

The confused creature has even thrown the breeding scheme at the park into doubt by neglecting his egg-sitting duties. Ostriches mate for life and they share the task of incubating the huge eggs for up to 46 days.

But Blue has left  his role as a dad-to-be - instead racing after the herd of 12 zebras.


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