Lunchtime News Monday July 26th 2021

U-Turns- Many people say they're confused about the fresh restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus in the Alpes Maritimes.

Over the weekend ,the prefect of the department issued several conflicting statements and only made a late announcement about the reintroduction of mask wearing in most outside areas until at least the 16th of August.

Bernard Gonzalez also said that he was banning “amplified” music on bar and restaurant terraces as a measure to dissuade large groups of people congregating but later changed his mind.

The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi also reversed a decision to require children placed in  summer child care services to have a negative PCR or proof of vaccination.He now says that an email was sent out to parents “in error” but has still recommended that children are vaccinated or tested before attending.

 

High alert-There are concerns that as infection rates continue to climb steeply in the south of France ,prefects in the Alpes Maritimes and Var may be forced to introduce further restrictions such as a night time curfew.

Some parts of the south west of the country where infection rates are the highest in France are already under stricter measures with bars and restaurants ordered to close at 11pm and the Cote d’Azur is catching up fast.

The infection rate in the Alpes Maritimes was running at 459 per 100,000 people on Sunday-a massive 800 percent increase in just 25 days.

The latest phase of the epidemic is registering the fastest rate of new infections since the health crisis began in March 2020.

Young people appear to be the most at risk of catching the delta variant with the infection rate on the 20-29 year old age group running at a staggering 1,700 per 100,000 people.

While the young are far less likely to suffer a severe bout of the virus ,they are infecting other age groups with statistics for the over 70s creeping up again.

 

Marseilles-Three men have been shot dead in Marseilles over the weekend in what looks like a continuing drug vendetta.

The shootings all happened on high rise council estates in the north of the city.

Marseilles has seen a flare-up in violence since the start of the summer with rival drugs gangs slugging it out for territorial power.

10 people have been murdered in the city since the 25th of June.

 

Car ban-The most polluting vehicles are soon to be banned from the centre of Toulon.

Paris has already started banning some vehicles from the city centre and other cities and towns including Lyon,Grenoble and Nice are set to follow.

It looks like vehicles carrying a ‘Crit Air 5’ sticker will be banned from Toulon city centre from the start of 2023 with petrol cars made before 2006 ,diesels from before 2011 and pre-2004 motorbikes following in 2024.

Fines of 68 euros will be issued for a first offence in breaking the new regulations.

Fine particle pollution kills 48,000 people annually according to Public Health France.

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