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Famous French market Rungis goes online for home fruit and veg deliveries

Food markets are a huge part of life in France, but with lockdown rules also closing all markets, some have gone online including the famous "Marché de Rungis", known as the "belly of Paris".

Famous French market Rungis goes online for home fruit and veg deliveries
Rungis food market to the south of Paris. AFP

Markets in France have been closed since the decree on Monday that tightened the conditions of France's lockdown (although local mayors can make exceptions in areas where the market is essential to daily life).

READ ALSO These are the rules of life on lockdown in France

There had been several fake 'Rungis online' sites set up, but now the market itself has announced that it will be setting one up, from next week.

The vast market of Rungis covers a 243 hectare site on the outskirts of Paris and is usually used by wholesalers and restauranteurs to stock up on fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products.

But now it has been announced that the market will be opening online and offering home deliveries.

Customers can fill a virtual basket with fruit, vegetables and fresh produce and get them delivered to their home.

Deliveries are only available to customers in Paris and the petite couronne – the inner suburbs – at first, but could be expanded.

AFP

Alexandra Dublanche, vice-president of the Île-de-France regional council, said: “On the one hand, it helps producers who have been hit hard by the epidemic and who no longer have anyone to sell to, such as market gardeners.
 
“On the other hand, we are responding to the demand for fresh produce in the Ile-de-France region. It's a win-win situation. All of this, using the logistical strength of Rungis Market.”
 
One market seller called on people to use the site to support producers.
 
“Our operators absolutely need us to buy their products from them, the merchant told La Tribune.
 
“Since the lockdown, our activity is zero.
 
“Our 22 employees are unemployed. If we could get half of them back with this operation it would be cool.
 
“The idea is to set up a real virtuous circle, and to support our agriculture. Our farmers absolutely need us to buy their produce to start preparing for the next season.”
 
The site is called Rungis livré chez zous (Rungis delivered to your home) and goes live next week.
 

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COVID-19

French government votes to allow return of Covid tests at border

The French parliament has passed the controversial health bill which updates France's emergency provisions for Covid - and allows the return of negative Covid tests for all travellers at the border, if the health situation requires.

French government votes to allow return of Covid tests at border

The Loi sanitaire was eventually approved by the Assemblée nationale on Monday after several variations and amendments added on its passage through the Assemblée and the Senate. It was voted on and passed Tuesday, May 26th. 

The bill replaces the State of Health Emergency that has been in place since March 2020 and puts in place provision for government actions should the health situation deteriorate or a dangerous new variant of Covid emerge.

The original text had a provision for the return of the health pass at the border, but this has now been scrapped and instead the government has the right to make a negative Covid test a condition of entry for all travellers.

At present negative tests are required only for unvaccinated travellers, and the new test requirement would only be put into force if a dangerous new variant emerges.

The government will be able to implement the testing rule by decree for two months, but a further parliamentary debate would be required to extend it beyond that.

From August 1st the State of Health Emergency will be formally repealed, which means that the government no longer has the power to introduce major limits on personal freedom such as lockdowns or curfews without first having a debate in parliament.

The bill also allows for an extension of data collection required for the SI-DEP epidemic monitoring tools such as the contact tracing app Tous Anti Covid until June 30th, 2023 and Contact Covid until January 31st, 2023. 

The most controversial measure in the bill was the reinstatement of healthcare workers who were suspended for being unvaccinated – this actually only involves a couple of hundred people but medical unions and the medical regulator Haut Autorité de Santé (HAS) have both been against it.

However the bill allows for the eventual lifting of the requirement for Covid vaccination for healthcare workers, when the HAS judges it is no longer necessary and once the requirement is lifted, the suspended healthcare workers will be reinstated “immediately”.

The bill was approved on Monday evening with 184 votes to 149, the result of a joint committee that was able to harmonise the versions of the Assembly and the Senate.

The final vote passed the Senate on Tuesday.

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