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TODAY IN FRANCE

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

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

Aujourd'hui: What's happening in France on Monday
Photo: AFP

In what seems like the first bit of good news in quite some time, France’s health minister has declared that we have ‘passed the peak’ of infections in the Covid-19 second wave.

The minister, a former neurologist, has throughout the pandemic been very cautious about assessing the health situation so this declaration, although it comes with caveats, is good news indeed.

And of course any excuse to include a video clip of Olivier Véran's most famous skill – drawing very detailed felt-tipped pen graphs of the latest health statistics during live TV appearances.

 

Death rates are still high, but the number of new cases, hospital admissions, positive test results and the R rate have all fallen since France began its second lockdown two weeks ago.

So does this mean it’s all systems go for Christmas? Unfortunately not.

It's very early days yet and we know that lockdown is staying in place until at least December 1st, with many measures likely to remain in place after that. We have been getting a lot of questions on the subject of whether Christmas travel will be possible – here’s everything we know about this so far.

Politics

As French president Emmanuel Macron lays out his views on the UN security council he has also launched attacks on certain 'Anglo Saxon media' (not including The Local) on their coverage of France's stance on radical Islam.

This is a topic we have been looking at to see whether there are genuine misunderstandings or mistranslations at play.

French daily newspaper Libération, however, is more concerned with the US presidential election with this stunningly blunt front page – headline: Fuck, two months! 

 

And if you get your news from French station RFI then don't worry – the UK's Queen Elizabeth II, Pele, Clint Eastwood and Sophia Loren are all still alive – their obituaries were published in error on the company's website.

 

Vaccine

In other healthcare matters, French pharma giant Sanofi says it too has a vaccine in development. It won’t be ready until at least June 2021, but it can be stored at normal temperatures, unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine which must be stored and transported at -70C, setting up all sorts of practical problems for a mass roll-out.

Language

Our French phrase of the day sounds like a cute little bunny rabbit, but is actually more applicable to a certain ex president and unlikely Romeo.

Residency

And we’re looking at proposals put forward to make the carte de séjour residency card conditional on a French language test. This is very much at the ideas stage at present, but could end up having a big impact on any non EU citizens (which will include British people from January) wanting to move to France.

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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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