Lunchtime News Tuesday 17th November 2020


Health crisis - The French government has announced this morning that the Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon is to hold a press conference tonight at 7pm to take stock of the health situation in France.

Meanwhile the government spokesman Gabriel Attal has promised "prospects" at the beginning of December for bar and restaurant managers. Gabriel Attal confirmed this morning on France 2 that bars and restaurants "will not reopen on December 1" but that they “will have prospects given at the beginning of December", assuring that "there is no fixed timetable".

Christmas with the family? - Speaking on French television this morning France’s Minister of Health Olivier Veran has said that “he, like all French people, wanted  to be able to celebrate Christmas with the family, but it is too soon to confirm whether or not this will be possible”.

Véran reminded people of the “necessity to continue to respect the barrier gestures" and "look after each other, whatever the situation for the end of year festive season”.

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex said at a press conference that the government's objective "is to be able to allow further relief in time for the Christmas holidays so that the French can spend the end of year celebrations with family”.

The head of government, however, clarified that these end-of-year celebrations "cannot be held as per previous years” and that after December 1st a certificate will always be necessary to travel, a requirement confirmed by Olivier Véran this morning. Whether it will still be necessary during the Christmas holidays has not yet been decided. The answer will certainly depend on the health situation.

Christmas trees on sale from Friday - Meanwhile France’s Minister of Agriculture Julien Denormandie has announced this morning on RMC that Christmas trees will go on sale in France from Friday November 20th.

In France, 6 million Christmas trees are sold each year, mainly in supermarkets, DIY stores and garden centers, 80% of which are from French suppliers according to figures provided by the French association of the natural Christmas tree. (AFSNN).

Christmas market cancelled - The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has announced the cancellation of the Christmas market in Nice due to Covid-19 restrictions.

On Monday Estrosi welcomed the recent figures showing that “we are going in the right direction” in the fight against Coovid-19 and encouraged the people of Nice to continue their efforts.