Riviera and French News Tuesday 3rd November 2020


Covid-19 cases - France has recorded a new record of Covid-19 contaminations and an unprecedented level of mortality since April. For the first time since April 20th, French hospitals have recorded more than 400 victims of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.

A record 52,518 cases were diagnosed on Monday according to data provided by health authorities. The previous record of 52,010 contaminations dated back to Sunday, October 25th.

The pressure continues to increase in hospitals with 3,730 Covid-19 patients in intensive care. The total number of people hospitalised is 25,143.

In the Principality nine new cases were reported amongst residents on Monday bringing the total number of residents affected by Covid-19 to 375. Twelve people are currently in hospital and eighty-two people are being followed by the Home Care Monitoring Centre.

Scientific Council warns that second wave may not be the last - France’s Scientific Council has warned that even if the recent restriction measures are successful, the second wave of Covid-19 may not be the last, advising authorities to prepare to manage “successive waves of the epidemic” until the arrival of a possible vaccine or treatment.

Majority of French fear being contaminated by the coronavirus according to survey – Meanwhile a survey carried out by Ifop has revealed that 56% of French people are afraid of being contaminated by the coronavirus in the coming weeks adding that more than 7 out of 10 French people (71%) say they are ready to accept being confined again after December 1 and "during the Christmas holidays".

63% of those questioned believe that it is better "to take too many health precautions to protect the health of all", while 37% would prefer "a rapid return to normal life to protect the economy and standard of living.

Nonessential items - The Ministry of the Economy has announced that following the declaration that nonessential items are to be banned from sale in supermarkets during the lockdown perfume, hygiene, beauty, childcare, hardware and stationery departments of supermarkets can remain open.

The decision was taken by the Ministry of the Economy during a meeting with representatives of food brands and supermarkets on Monday.

The Ministry of the Economy said that they would grant a "tolerance until Wednesday" for supermarkets to close the shelves of non-essential products. This concerns in particular sales of clothing, toys, furniture, flowers and books.

The Minister of the Economy will continue to receive trade associations in the coming days to make new proposals on the opening or closing of departments and stores by November 12th depending on the situation of the current health crisis.

Many muicipalities in our region are publishing lists of local "non-essential" retailers which are remaining open to offer take-away or delivery services. The town hall in Cogolin has a list which can be found on the Ville de Cogolin Facebook page. A similar list is currently being compiled by the Menton town hall and is expected to be available shortly.

Teachers critised new health protocol for schools - A group of teachers in Aix-Marseille have criticized the new health protocol in schools. In a letter posted on Facebook on Sunday the group of a hundred teachers from the region have threatened to go on strike.

As part of new restrictions wearing a mask is now compulsory for all students from the age of 6. A decision which for many teachers in the Marseille region is difficult to respect. They also criticize the Minister of Education for contradictory decisions: asking "How can the Minister decently authorize 35 pupils to gather in 40 m² when we do not have the right to be 6 on the public highway?"

Police illicit party - France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin says police cadets involved in an illicit party last Wednesday evening will be excluded from the police force.

The secret party took place in the grounds of the police college in Nimes before France entered its second national lockdown but during the preceding period when Nimes and many other areas of the country were under curfew.

News of the gathering broke on Sunday when a journalist posted film of the event on Twitter.

Riviera palaces close their doors - Sometimes referred to as the “Eiffel Tower of Nice” the Negresco Hotel has announced its closure until further notice due to the national lockdown.

The hotel follows in the footsteps of the Carlton Hotel in Cannes which had already closed at the beginning of October in response to an unprecedented collapse in activity, victim of the health restrictions and cancellations of trade fairs and conferences.

SNCF traffic reduced during lockdown - The SNCF has announced that it is to sharply reduce TGV and Ouigo traffic. Three-quarters of TGV and Ouigo trains will not be operating from November 5.

Due to the national lockdown there will only be five round trips per day between Paris and Lyon, three between Paris and Dijon or two between Paris and Grenoble, until the end of lockdown. The decision comes as travel between regions is very limited by the government and reserved for business trips or essential travel.

In other News…..

Nice attack - Emergency rescuers who intervened during the the Nice attack on worshippers in the Notre-Dame church last Thursday are to be tested for Covid-19 after it was revealed that the attacker has tested positive.

The perpetrator, a 21-year-old Tunisian, was seriously injured during his arrest on after killing three people. He is still hospitalized but his life is not in danger.

A 29-year-old man is still in police custody in Grasse along with two other suspects, an 83-year-old man and a 25-year-old man. All three are believed to have been in contact with the suspect ahead of the attack.  

Emergency services were deployed to the scene of the attack on Thursday after a member of the public used an “Emergency call terminal” to raise the alarm. The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has since announced that having proven their effectiveness the terminals will soon be installed in front of schools in Nice in a bid to strengthen security.

The mayor has also requested that a national tribute be arranged in the coming days to the three victims of the attack in Nice. The mayor said he had made the request to French President Emmanuel Macron after consulting the families of the victims and obtaining their agreement.

83% of French people polled have a bad opinion of Donald Trump - As America goes to the polls today in the presidential election a recent survey has shown that more than eight out of ten French people have a bad opinion of Donald Trump and want Joe Biden to win.

According to the poll the French consider the Democratic candidate as more competent, experienced and more charismatic than the current president with 85% of those polled having a low opinion of Republican candidate.

80% of French people consider Donald Trump to be dangerous and incompetent.


Global markets are waiting for the outcome of the US Presidential election as voters in America go to the polls in what’s being seen as one of the most crucial contests in decades.

Polls show that the gap between Democrat Joe Biden and the incumbent Donald Trump has tightened although Mr Biden is still ahead by around 7 percentage points nationally.

The election will be won and lost in key battleground states where polls show that the outcome is too close to call in some areas.

Asian markets have rallied this morning while the dollar and gold have held steady as the political uncertainty continues.

The prospect of no immediate winner is being seen as the biggest drag on markets with investors concerned that the outcome will be disputed or even end up in the courts.

Meanwhile-Shops and businesses across the United States are boarding up windows on concerns about unrest following the election.

The preparations come months after many businesses were hit by looting in violent demonstrations that followed the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Last week ,Walmart said that it was removing guns and ammunition from display in thousands of its stores in the US  citing concerns of civil unrest. It later reversed the decision.

More than 96 million Americans have already cast their ballots in early voting and it looks likely that record numbers will vote this year in what’s being seen as the most crucial election in decades.

A handful of swing states are likely to decide the outcome with legal challenges over which votes will be counted already underway in some areas.

And-In the UK ,a study by the Resolution Foundation has found that more than a third of workers are concerned about catching coronavirus on the job.

The lowest paid are the most concerned but also the least likely to speak about it according to the report while young workers are the least likely to make a complaint.

The widespread concerns come despite government advice on making workplaces Covid secure.

A new lockdown comes into force in England on Thursday but up to half of employees could still be going to work in jobs such as essential retail ,education and health.


Football-There were two games in the English Premier League last night. Fulham got their first win of the season in a 2-0 victory over West Brom while Leicester moved up to second in the table following a 4-1 win at Leeds United.

There are 8 more games in the group phase of the European Champions League tonight including      Porto against Marseilles and Manchester City against Olympiakos in Group C while in Group D Liverpool travel to Atalanta.

Rugby Union-The Autumn Nations Cup match between France and Fiji could be under threat after 7 members of the Fiji squad tested positive for Covid-19.

Fiji are in a training camp in the French city of Limoges and further tests on players and the coaching staff will be carried out today.

Some of the players were involved with the Barbarians squad for the match against England which had to be cancelled after coronavirus protocols were broken.

Fiji’s warm-up game against Portugal on the 6th of November has already been called off. They’re due to play France on November the 15th.

There were 3 games in the Guinness Pro 14 last night. Ulster were 11-7 winners at Cardiff Blues  while Zebre beat Ospreys 23-17 and Leinster were 32-19 winners against Glasgow Warriors.

Racing-Twilight Payment trained by Joseph O’Brien has won the Melbourne Cup but the victory has been overshadowed by the death of the 2019 Derby winner Anthony Van Dyke.

The horse broke down in the home straight after suffering a broken leg and had to be humanely euthanised according to a Racing Victoria spokesman.

The death of the 2019 Derby winner came as a huge shock to the racing community and will heighten calls from animal rights activists and the League against Cruel Sports for racing to be banned.


Mainly cloudy with some bright spells and light southerly winds.

Top temperature 19 degrees.

Overnight lows of 16 degrees with cloudy skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Partially cloudy with highs of 18-19 degrees.

And Finally

A study has suggested that healthy food options could be made appealing by zapping neurons to 'reprogramme' your brain into preferring, for example, fruit over chocolate.

When faced with a decision, each alternative choice causes a different set of nerve cells to fire in your brain.

Experts from the US working with monkeys found that these neurons encode the values of the different options as the brain works to reach a decision.

By changing the activity of the neurons, the researchers were able to influence the monkeys' decisions and guide them towards a given choice.

The findings may pave the way to new treatments for addiction, eating disorders, depression and other conditions involving faulty decision-making.


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