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TODAY IN FRANCE

Aujourd’hui: What’s happening in France on Thursday

Welcome to our round-up of all the news, talking points and latest announcements in France today.

Aujourd'hui: What's happening in France on Thursday
Another evening of ministers behind podiums beckons. Photo: AFP

Today is another of France's evening TV lockdown announcements. This one is the two-week review that president Emmanuel Macron promised when he locked the country down again on October 30th.

Prime Minister Jean Castex and a team of ministers will broadcast the latest health news and whether any restrictions can be relaxed.

 

These are some of the areas that we can expect to be addressed – and we will also be covering the press conference live here from 6pm French time.

Someone who doesn't sound like he's in the mood to relax anything is France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who has called for extra police patrols and fines after reports that not enough people are following the lockdown rules.

Vaccine latest

A Covid-19 vaccine has long been hailed as the ‘silver bullet’ that will allow lockdown to be lifted once and for all, but despite the promising news from the Pfizer/BioNTech collaboration, the head of the EU’s health agency has sounded a note of caution.

We look when and how the vaccine is likely to be available in France, and whether it will be compulsory.

 

Compulsory vaccines are being discussed because of France's historically high rate of vaccine scepticism – we look at some of the reasons behind that.

Deck the halls

The possibility of not seeing loved ones over Christmas has seen a surge already in the number of parcels La Poste is handling – the French postal service has doubled the number of seasonal workers, and is now hiring if anyone is looking for a temporary job.

And did you know that any child in France who writes a letter to Father Christmas and posts it before December 17th will get a reply, thanks to La Poste's Sécretariat du Père Noël?

Language learning

Our French word of the day sounds a bit like a duck quacking, but is more likely to be used in politics.

And on that note – ever wondered what sounds animals make in France? Here's a small selection;

Cockerel/rooster – the symbol of France proudly crows cocorico ! in the morning

Pig – groin

Duck – coin, coin

Donkey – hi han

Cow – meuh

Property

We've also been speaking to a French real estate agent about the boom in demand for properties in northern France, mainly driven by British people looking for lockdown retreats.

This follows the trend in the French property market that has seen a strong interest in leaving the city and moving to the more rural corners of France.

And if you're considering moving to France, you can sign up to our handy Moving to France guide.

This is a new feature that we're trying out for our members, so let us know what you think – is it helpful? Is there anything you would like to see more/less of? Send your feedback to [email protected]

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TODAY IN FRANCE

Today in France: What are the top stories on Wednesday

Welcome to the roundup of latest news and talking points in France today.

Today in France: What are the top stories on Wednesday
Photo: AFP

France has now reopened its border with the UK, but only to certain groups of travellers. Here’s who can travel to France from the UK and the documents they need to travel with.

And as well as its virus mutation, the UK also seems to have suffered from an outbreak of French-bashing. 

 

Here’s John Lichfield wearily looking back at his 24 years of covering France and seeing this nonsense, as well as examining why this type of xenophobia is not reciprocated by the French. 

Crime

Thee police officers have died after being shot by a man who was holding a woman hostage. The man himself was later found dead, after setting fire to the house in Puy-de-Dôme in central France.

Health

France’s health minister has moved to reassure people that having the Covid-19 vaccine will not be a requirement for accessing services like public transport. This comes after a health bill that stirred controversy – the bill has now been taken off the parliamentary schedule.

Work

France has also made some changes to its labour laws for 2021 – here’s how that could affect you.

Weather

Weather forecasters are predicting late snowfalls for a white Christmas in parts of France.

 

Macron

And in case anyone was worrying about France's Covid-infected president, he is 'doing better' according to his office. Prime Minister Jean Castex, who had been self-isolating since Macron's diagnosis, today tested negative for Covid-19 and can resume his duties in person.

 
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