Lunchtime News Monday February 22nd 2021

Local lockdown- Stricter Covid-19 regulations are coming into force for the Alpes Maritimes and Nice with a local lockdown for the next two weekends.

Authorities have expressed alarm at rising numbers of cases of coronavirus with the department having the worst infection rate in France and the virus described as being “out of control” in Nice especially in the districts of l’Ariane , Les Moulins and Bon Voyage.

Hospital bosses are warning of possible saturation of services if measures aren’t taken to control the spread of the virus.

Latest government figures show the infection rate in the Alpes Maritimes at 567 per 100,000 residents and over 700 per 100,000 in Nice.

The public is also reminded that wearing a face mask is compulsory in all areas of the department.


Processional caterpillars-With the spring coming ,there’s a warning to the owners of domestic animals and parents of young children about the dangers posed by processional caterpillars.

The insects make their nests in pine trees and they look like balls of cotton wool or fibreglass.

Once the caterpillars leave the nests they drop to the ground and can cause a severe allergic reaction in animals and small children if ingested.

Medical attention from a vet or doctor should be sought immediately in the case of an accident.

The insects and their nests must be incinerated to destroy them and the public is urged to call a specialist if any trees on property show infestation.


Yellow alert-The Alpes Maritimes and Var are on a yellow weather alert for strong winds until 4pm today.

Strong south-easterly winds are gusting at up to 85 km/h across the region with warnings of a sea surge in places ,especially on exposed coastal paths.

The winds are forecast to drop this evening and spring-like conditions are expected for the rest of the week with bright sunshine and  highs of 15-18 degrees.


Aircraft carrier departs-The Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier has left the port of Toulon for a mission to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf lasting several months.

The French Defence Minister Florence Parly says that the mission is aimed at “combating terrorism” and has warned that the forces of Islamic State are still “extremely active” in the region.

There is already a sizeable French military presence in the area including a number of Rafale fighter jets and ground forces.

The entire crew of the Charles de Gaulle has been vaccinated against coronavirus.


Sea warnings-Air sea rescue services in the Alpes Maritimes have been called out more than 200 times since the start of the year according to official statistics.

With people looking for something to do with their spare time as a result of the current Covid-19 restrictions ,Crossmed and the SNSM lifeboat service say that there’s been an explosion in nautical activities with some people taking extreme risks.

Emergency services have rescued several paddleboarders ,kite-surfers  wing-foil enthusiasts and kayakers over the past few weeks ,some of whom are reported to had only recently started to practice the sports.

With the current chilly water temperature ,rescue services say that every second counts and they’ve urged the public to use greater common sense.

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