France runs low on Covid test supplies ahead of Christmas gatherings

France — Link

As the Christmas weekend approaches, amid official appeals for people to test for the coronavirus before joining in family gatherings, record demand for PCR and antigen tests, which saw more than six million performed in the week between December 13th-19th, has left an estimated two-thirds of chemist's stores out of stock. 

Why probe into ex-health minister's handling of Covid epidemic spells trouble for French government


The former French health minister Agnès Buzyn was placed under formal investigation on Friday September 10th for “putting the lives of others in danger” during the Covid-19 pandemic. Prosecutors also named her as an “assisted witness” - a half-way status between that of a witness and a potential suspect - in relation to allegations of “failing to fight a disaster”. The investigation into Buzyn, who stepped down as health minister in mid-February 2020 as the epidemic was gaining speed in the country, came after numerous legal complaints lodged by private individuals and groups. The news, which will once again shine a spotlight on the French government's initial handling of the epidemic, comes just months before President Emmanuel Macron is set to seek re-election in the 2022 presidential election. Sarah Brethes, Caroline Coq-Chodorge and Antton Rouget report.

Record turnout for protests against France's Covid 'health pass'

France — Link

Nationwide protests against the introduction as of Monday in France of the requirement to carry a 'health pass' showing that a person has no coronavirus infection, or has had a double Covid jab, when entering public venues or before boarding trains and planes drew around 237,000 people, according to official estimates.

France introduces mandatory health passes for restaurants and travel

France — Link

In new measures to to tackle the coronavirus epidemic, the French parliament has approved legislation  that will require people to present a health pass for access to restaurants, bars, trains and planes from the beginning of August, and which also requires frontline healthcare staff to be vaccinated by mid-September.

France advises against travel to Spain, Portugal over virus variant

International — Link

French junior minister for European affairs Clément Beaune on Thursday advised against travel this summer to Spain and Portugal because of a surge in the two countries of the notably contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, adding it was 'better to remain in France or go to other countries'.  

France extends access to Covid jabs to holiday travellers

France — Link

Amid a surge of infections of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, France now allows people to receive a second dose of Covid vaccine anywhere in the country in an effort to encourage holidaymakers not to delay the final jab until after the summer vacations.

How Covid-19 caused 'historic' fall in life expectancy in France

France — Investigation

While France last week passed the landmark official figure of 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, some have questioned the real significance of the disease on the deathrate of the elderly and the physically weak who, they bluntly argue, would have died sooner or later from other causes. Rozenn Le Saint turned to demographers for their insight into a clouded debate.

French Riviera in weekend lockdown to stem coronavirus surge

France — Link

In face of a surge in cases of coronavirus infections in south-east France, which are well above the national average, parts of the French Riviera, including the city of Nice and the town of Cannes, are to be subject to weekend lockdowns at least over the next fortnight,

French Riviera capital Nice faces strict measures after Covid boom

France — Link

The fast-rising number of coronavirus infections recorded in the Riviera city, three times the average of that recorded across France, has prompted the authorities to plan for a localised weekend lockdown and stricter curfew measures.

Why potentially millions of doses of mRNA Covid vaccines are lost in the vials


The messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines against Covid-19 infection are apparently highly effective, but they are also in too short supply to meet current demand. In France, doctors have found that vials of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna contain more than the indicated number of doses. By collecting the dregs of the bottles, there is the potential of producing millions more doses from existing supplies. But the French health authorities are refusing to authorise the practice. Joseph Confavreux and Caroline Coq-Chodorge report.

Slight drop in new coronavirus cases in France

France — Link

France's health authorities reported 21,063 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Thursday, down from Wednesday's 25,387 figure and last Thursday's total of 23,448, while the number of recorded deaths from the disease rose to 80,803.

French nun aged 116 suffers no ill effects from coronavirus infection

France — Link

Sister Andrée, who turns 117 on Thursday and who is believed to be the oldest living person in Europe, was infected with the coronavirus in January but developed no illness and has told French media that she had not been scared by the experience.

Macron warned over delaying new lockdown

France — Link

A senior French epidemiologist and advisor to the French government on management of the Covid-19 pandemic has warned President Emmanuel Macron against further delaying a third public lockdown as the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first recorded in the UK threatens an 'exponential' rise in Covid-19 cases. 

New anti-Covid measures in France ahead of likely third lockdown

France — Link

As of Sunday, people arriving in France from EU countries must produce a negative coronavirus PCR test obtained in the previous 72 hours, a measure already imposed on non-EU arrivals, while a growing number of experts advise that the high new rates of Covid-19 infections, hospitalisations and deaths registered in the country require a third lockdown on public movement.

French Covid cases hit 3 million, new lockdown envisaged

France — Link

Confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in France rose by 23,292 on Friday to total 3.01 million, while hospitalisations for Covid-19 also rose to 25,908, the highest in about six weeks, and intensive care patients increased, to 2,912.