Lunchtime News Wednesday 18th November 2020


Storm Alex - More than a month after the exceptional floods of October 2nd in the Alpes-Maritimes the Minister for Public Accounts, Olivier Dussopt, has announced an aid of 20 million euros for the department.

Reacting to the announcement the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, says that he is “surprised that the government does not talk about the Nice-Côte-d'Azur Metropolis, which has an estimated total amount of damage reaching nearly one billion euros”.

Testing for Covid-19 at Nice International airportNice International Airport is offering passengers antigen tests. Funded by the French state and the city of Nice and offered in partnership with Air France and Alitalia these tests are available for passengers flying to oversea French departments. They are also available to any passenger flying from Nice, on the condition that they submit an antigen test request. To do this, passengers must fill in a form on the airport website before travelling. Passengers can get tested up to 90 minutes before their time of departure and the results are available within 30 minutes and are valid for up to 72 hours. 

Travellers are reminded that antigen tests are not accepted in all countries and you are advised to check with your destination country.

Defense Council - A Defense Council is being held today ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement on the end of lockdown next week. The council is to discuss a progress report for Christmas, the possible reopening of shops, vaccination in France and a possible introduction of a curfew.

Among the scenarios being considered is the return of a curfew, which would be an intermediate measure before a return to normal. Exemptions from travel restrictions are being considered for the Christmas holidays.

Global security bill – The French parliament will for the next two days examine a bill which covers a broad range of issues concerning how national security is managed.

Within the 1,300 amendments which provide guidelines for local police units, one clause in particular – proposing a ban on publishing footage that identifies police officers, has prompted accusations from rights groups and journalists that it will impinge on civil liberties.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal told the press that this amendment was in no way an attempt to ban the filming of officers during the course of their duties.

But the measure has been harshly criticized by journalists and rights groups who have labelled it “a serious blow” to the freedom of the press, and the rights of individual citizens.

Several trade unions representing journalists held protests in Paris and other cities such as Bordeaux, Lyon, Rennes, Toulouse and Grenoble on Tuesday evening to air their concerns.

Monaco - Ahead of tomorrow’s national celebrations here in the Principality, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco has given an exclusive interview to local media saying he is “confident that we will overcome the current health crisis”.

Prince Albert spoke of the “capacity and assets” to recover from the “economic health crisis” and defended the decision to not follow France with a second lockdown justifying it by saying that “the health situation is France is not comparable to Monaco”, firstly as far as the number of cases are concerned” and secondly, “while there has been an increase of cases in Monaco the Principality’s health service is far from being saturated”.

While the National Day of Monaco or La Fête du Prince, also known as The Sovereign Prince's Day is celebrated annually on Thursday 19th November to honour the Prince and his family as well as the people of the Principality, this year the national holiday will also honour those who worked on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19.

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