This week in France: What you need to know

A Saint Nicolas parade in Nancy, France
Photo: Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP
From Christmas rules to a crunch EU deadline and an extra Christmas festival, here's what is coming up in France this week.

Remember that this week new travel rules are in force – as of Saturday, December 4th – requiring negative Covid tests for all non-EU arrivals, vaccinated or not. Find the full breakdown of the rules here


Covid crisis meeting

The French government is holding a meeting – two days ahead of the regular Wednesday Defence Council meetings – to decide whether new restrictions are needed in France in the face of the fifth wave of Covid and the newly-discovered Omicron variant.

The meeting of the government’s “health council”, on Monday, December 6th, will “see if there is a need to take additional measures”, French PM Jean Castex said.

READ ALSO: French PM announces crisis meeting to decide France’s Covid Christmas rules

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St Nicolas Day

Monday is also Saint Nicolas Day, which if you’re in north-east France involves celebrations, parades, festivals, small gifts and special gingerbread.

READ ALSO The extra December festival that some of France celebrates


French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a rare press conference (the second in 4 years) mainly on the subject of Europe to coincide with France taking over the presidency of the European Council in January.

“He will present his main priorities for Europe during France’s presidency,” a source from the Elysée told Le Parisien.


Truckers protests

Truckers in France are going on strike. It is unclear at this point whether they will deliberately block roads, which would lead to traffic jams across the country. We will be monitoring for disruption and will keep you updated. 

Fishing deadline

The EU has given the UK until December 10th to resolve issues over outstanding post-Brexit fishing licences, the great majority of which are for French boats.

If an agreement is not reached by then, the EU will look at beginning legal proceedings, but the passing of the deadline could also see extra actions from the French government, or more blockades of Channel ports and roads from the increasing irate French fishermen’s groups.


Independence referendum

France could become a little smaller. 

The islands of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean are voting in an independence referendum. It is the third such referendum since 2018. Pro-independence groups have called for the vote to be delayed and warned that they would not participate due to the pandemic. Paris insists that the result of Sunday’s vote in the French overseas territory will be legally binding. 

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