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HEALTH

Coronavirus: Burgundy hotel on lockdown after death of Chinese man

Thirty people have been confined to a hotel in Beaune in the Burgundy region of France as a precaution after the death of a Chinese tourist.

Coronavirus: Burgundy hotel on lockdown after death of Chinese man
Dozens of guests have been confined to the Ibis hotel in central Beaune. Illustration photo: Google streetview

The tourist, whose age was not given but who is believed to be from Hong Kong, died in the Ibis hotel in Beaune in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region of France on Tuesday.

Follow all the latest developments on the coronavirus situation in France here.

His death has not been confirmed as a case of coronavirus, but local health authorities have taken the precautionary measure of imposing controls on the hotel.

The other 30 people in the man's group – who had been due to travel to Paris on Wednesday morning – have been ordered to stay confined in the hotel.

Other guests at the hotel who had not had contact with the man have been allowed to leave.

The Bourgogne-Franche-Comté regional health authorities say the expect the results of the coronavirus test on the man to be confirmed by Wednesday afternoon.

If confirmed, his death would bring the total number of people who have died of coronavirus in France to three – an 80-year-old Chinese tourist died on February 14th and a 60-year-old French high school teacher died on Tuesday night in Paris.

The Beaune marie has said that the deceased man is believed to have had heart problems.

Beaune is a popular tourist destination in France – at the heart of the Burgundy wine country in Côte-d'Or.

READ ALSO What are the rules for coronavirus quarantine and self isolation in France?

Member comments

  1. This is terrible!
    We have stayed there for years.
    Great place and wonderful service!
    We wish them all the best and hope they will be opened again soon.

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For members

TRAVEL

Driving in France: What is télépéage and how does it work?

Ever seen those drivers who avoid the queues at toll booths and driving straight through? Here's how they do it.

Driving in France: What is télépéage and how does it work?

If you’re driving on French autoroutes one of the things you need to know is that they are not free – you will have to pay regular tolls, payable at toll booths known as péage.

Usually, drivers pick up a ticket from a booth at the start of their journey, then pay the required amount at a booth at the end of it – or when they move onto a different section of autoroute – based on the distance they have travelled.

But the toll booths themselves can be busy, especially during the summer, and long queues sometimes build up.

READ ALSO 8 things to know about driving in France this summer

This is where automated pay systems – known as télépéage – come in, especially for those who use the motorway network regularly.

As well as allowing you to pass straight through péages without stopping for payment, it’s also very useful for owners of right-hand drive vehicles, who may otherwise find that they’re sitting on the wrong side for easy and speedy payment.

Here’s how it works

Order your télépéage badge online

Click on the Bip&Go website here and follow the instructions to order a scannable personalised device (up to a maximum of two per account for private users). You will need to set up an account to arrange electronic payment of charges.

The website is available in English, French, German or Dutch.

You will need to supply bank details (IBAN number), address (for delivery), mobile phone number (to activate your account) and the vehicle’s registration details.

Your badge will be dispatched to your address within 48 hours from the opening of your online account. You can have the device sent to addresses outside France, but allow longer for it to arrive. 

If you’re in France, you can also pick up the device at one of Bip&Go’s stores, if you prefer – you will need need your bank details, proof of identity and a mobile phone.

Attach your badge 

Place your device on on the windscreen to the right of the rearview mirror. It is activated and ready to go. Then, simply, drive.

At the péage

All toll booths are equipped with the sensors that recognise that the vehicle is carrying the necessary device. At most, you will have to stop briefly for the device to be recognised and the barrier to lift.

You will also be able to drive through certain booth areas without stopping. These are indicated by an orange t symbol on the overhead signs. The maximum speed you can pass through these booths is 30kph.

Payments

Payments are processed automatically. You can monitor the amounts you have to pay on an app.

Do I need separate badges for motorway networks run by different companies?

No. The badge allows holders to travel on the entire French motorway network, no matter which company manages the motorway, and you can also use it to cross a number of toll structures in France such as the Millau Viaduct, the Tancarville Bridge or the Normandie Bridge, and pay to park in more than 450 car parks. 

Is it only valid in France?

No, with certain packages, you can also as easily travel on motorways in Spain, Portugal and Italy, and use a number of compatible car parks. You can even use them on Italian ferries.

Okay, but how much does it cost?

Subscriptions to the Bip&Go service depend on what type of service you want. A fixed price rolling subscription is €16 a year – plus toll charges – but assumes you’re a regular user of French motorways. 

A pay-as-you-go subscription is €1.70 for every month the badge is in use – plus toll charges – and carries a €10 additional fee if the badge is not used in a 12-month period.

How much are the toll charges?

They depend on the road you’re on, how far you travel along it, and the vehicle you’re driving.

Heading from Toulouse to Biarritz along the A64 will cost a total €23 in fees for a private car and if you’re driving all the way from Calais down to the Mediterranean coast expect to pay around €70 once you add up the various tolls along the way.

You can find out tariffs for autoroutes on the website of France’s official autoroute body AFSA – where you can also calculate the cost of your journey – including fuel.

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