Lunchtime News Monday 3rd May 2021


Daytime travel now possible however curfew remains - Today marks the end of daytime travel restrictions from 6am to 7pm however the curfew from 7pm to 6am is still in force and for any travel or outing during this time you will need a new certificate which can be downloaded from the government website at

The new version of the attestation allows travel during the curfew for the following reasons;

- Professional activity, education and training, travel between home and the place of work or education or training; professional travel that cannot be postponed, deliveries; travel related to an administrative authority.

- Health (travel for consultations, examinations, including vaccination, and care that cannot be provided remotely or for the purchase of health products).

- Compelling family reason, assistance to vulnerable people, childcare, disability situation (travel for compelling family reasons, for assistance to vulnerable or precarious people or for childcare; travel for people with disabilities and of their companion).

- Judicial or administrative summons, procedures that cannot be carried out remotely (travel to respond to a judicial or administrative summons or to go to a legal professional for an act or procedure that cannot be carried out remotely).

- Travel related to transfers or transits from stations or airports as part of long-distance journeys

- Short outings with your pet (within a radius of 1 kilometer around the home).

Schools under high surveillance - As classes reopen today in France, colleges and high schools are under high surveillance due to Covid. Measures in place will see classes close for seven days from the first case of Covid detected. Class closures look likely to increase this week with the increase in saliva tests and the distribution of self-tests. Some 60 million will be delivered in May and June for students and teachers.

Meanwhile The National Union of High School Students (UNL) has called for blockades in high schools from today calling for the cancellation of the French and philosophy exams due to health security and fairness claiming that “students have only had part of their lessons since November”.

The health situation in the Alpes Maritimes - The health situation in the Alpes Maritimes increased slightly over the weekend according to latest figures published with the number of patients being hospitalised increasing, after declining over several days.

On Sunday there were 471 people hospitalised that’s 18 more than on Friday 30th April, but 52 less compared to last week. A similar trend has been noted in intensive care units with 71 patients admitted to intensive care on Sunday May 2nd, compared to 64 on Friday 30th April.

The was one new death from Covid on Saturday in the Alpes Maritimes. Since the start of the epidemic, Covid has killed at least 1,915 people (1,469 in hospitals and 446 in nursing homes). Nevertheless, numbers remain on a downward trend in the region with the incidence rate declining last week reaching 133.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The week before it was 176.2.

Finance minister announces “improvement” of solidarity fund - France’s Finance Minister Bruno le Maire has announced an "improvement" of the solidarity fund, opening it to all professionals, regardless of the loss of turnover. The goal is to encourage the reopening at the end of May.

France is entering its first phase of lifting lockdown but professionals remain worried. Cafes and restaurants still have to wait until May 19th to partially reopen, with only terraces.  Bruno Le Maire announced an easing of conditions required for compensation from the solidarity fund, from "early June".

Before, to have access to it, you had to lose 50% of your turnover or be administratively closed. Now the minister claims that “from the beginning of June, for hoteliers, cafes, restaurants, for the world of culture and entertainment, for events, you have access to the solidarity fund, whatever your loss of turnover ".

Bruno Le Maire cited as an example a restaurant owner who would only reopen his terrace on May 19th, as per the end of lockdown schedule, but who "would still lose 30% of their turnover". "Formally not eligible for the solidarity fund will now be able to claim from the beginning of June”.

The compensation figure will be defined with professionals in the hotel and catering sector, who will be meet today with the French government at 3pm. The event sector will be meeting the government on Tuesday.

The government intends to make tailor-made aid for professionals to encourage reopening. The amount of this aid will then decrease over three months, namely June, July and August.

In other news

May Day demonstrations - Police have clashed with protesters in Paris during May Day workers’ rights demonstrations. On Saturday police used tear gas as thousands turned out across France. A police source said that far-left "black bloc" protesters had repeatedly tried to block the trade union-led march in the French capital, with 34 people detained. 

The CGT union said nearly 300 May day protests were planned around the country, with authorities expecting around 100,000 demonstrators to join them in total. The crowds held placards with different demands, ranging from the end of the nighttime curfew in place as part of coronavirus restrictions, to a halt to unemployment reforms due to come into force in July.

SNCF - With summer just around the corner the SNCF has today put on sale 5 million low price tickets. Five million tickets will be sold for a maximum of 39 euros from today until “May 19th”. Children under 12 will pay a single price of 8 euros until August 29th, on all destinations. These millions of tickets "will be distributed according to the destinations and can be used until August 29 on the Ouigo, Inoui and the Intercités.

These tickets will be exchangeable and refundable up to three days before departure. In addition, the SNCF will offer reduced rates every Wednesday, for the upcoming weekend a campaign named “A Wednesday oh yes!”.

French Open - Following the French government's announcement of its plan to gradually lift Covid-19 lockdown measures the French Open, which had been postponed to May 24th, will now be able to accommodate a significantly larger audience than initially expected. The springtime Grand Slam will be able to welcome three times fewer spectators than usual, but five times more than it did last year. The final matches of the 2021 French Open, scheduled for June 12 (women) and June 13 (men) should be able to take place before 5,000 fans, according to the timeline for lifting restrictions announced by the French government.

And Finally 

According to the study four out of ten Brits say “annoying” workmates are the reason why they are reluctant to go back to the office.

And the never-ending battle about shared workspaces being too hot or too cold was also a major bugbear for 35 per cent of staff who have grown accustomed to working from home during the pandemic.

Nearly 23 per cent said colleagues’ bad habits including chatting, clicking their fingers, humming or singing and whistling were an issue why they didn’t want to return.

And a further 20 per cent said that the poor hygiene of the people sharing their workspace was their main cause for concern, with one in ten finding what their colleagues eat for lunch “offensive”.



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