Six Nations rugby in doubt amid French government virus fears

France — Link

Health ministry has told French rugby bodies that the government wanted short-term measures introduced to stop European club matches against British clubs going ahead.

Anatomy of a disaster: how the start of France's vaccine campaign went badly wrong

France — Investigation

The initial slowness in the rollout of its vaccination campaign against Covid-19 has sparked a major political row in France. An investigation by Mediapart can now reveal that a failure of logistics prevented the Pfizer vaccine from being distributed more quickly. As with the earlier debacle over face masks, the Ministry of Health failed to react quickly enough to events and by the end of December had only managed to put in place 38 of the 113 special freezers needed to store the doses at low temperatures. At least three weeks were lost as a result, report Caroline Coq-Chodorge and Antton Rouget.

French PM : all Covid restrictions stay in place, border with UK closed

France — Link

Prime minister Jean Castex announced that all facilities currently closed in France will remain closed and that the situation for theatres, gyms and ski stations will be reviewed on 20 January.

France ramps up vaccine programme as slow start sparks anger

France — Link

France's deliberately cautious approach has meant only about 350 people have so far received Covid vaccination jab.

Why France has been so slow to start its Covid vaccination campaign

France — Analysis

In his New Year's Eve address to the nation President Emmanuel Macron made clear his intention to speed up France's Covid vaccination programme, apparently stung by the country's slow performance compared with many others. Privately he is said to be angry at its “unwarranted slowness” and as a result the country is expected to step up its campaign this week. So far the number of vaccinations in France measures in the low hundreds compared with tens or hundreds of thousands - or even millions - in some other countries. Caroline Coq-Chodorge reports on the public mistrust that lies behind France's sluggish start in vaccinating its population.

France under pressure to speed up coronavirus vaccine rollout

France — Link

France is ‘wearing Europe’s dunce cap,’ MPs have warned, while doctors have spoken of 'excessive precautions' in vaccination campaign.

France sees sharp surge in new daily Covid-19 infections

France — Link

The French health ministry reported 26,457 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Wednesday, but the number of persons hospitalised for the disease declined by 183.

A year of Covid-19: the stories from an apartment block in Meaux

France — Report

As 2020 draws to a close amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic, Mediapart knocked on the doors of the inhabitants of an apartment block in the town of Meaux, east of Paris, to ask them about their experiences living through a year unlike any other. The lurking threat of the virus was of course a constant angst, but for many, it is the social and economic consequences that have marked them, and which leave them fearful for the future. Mathilde Goanec reports (illustrations by Fanny Monier).  

France plans 6 pm curfew to prevent third coronavirus wave

France — Link

But French health minister now rules out another nation-wide lockdown.

French minister warns that third lockdown cannot be ruled out

France — Link

Health minister Olivier Véran spoke as authorities in France fear arrival of a third wave in the weeks following the Christmas holidays.

France records first case of fast-rising UK new virus variant

France — Link

A French man resident in Britain and who arrived this month in the town of Tours, west-central France, has been tested positive for the new variant of the coronavirus which is suspected of being particularly contagious, although it is still unkown if it causes more severe forms of Covid-19.

France approves coronavirus vaccine rollout, starting Sunday

France — Link

An anti Covid-19 vaccine developed by US pharma firm Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech has been approved for use in France by the country's top health authority, the Haute Autorité de la santé (HAS), with vaccinations due to start on a voluntazry basis on Sunday, with a priority given for those most at risk.

EU commissioner berates France over southern England truck jams

International — Link

In an unusally strong statement posted on Twitter, the European Union's transport commissioner, Adina Valean, commenting on the massive logjam of trucks around the English port of Dover following border restrictions introduced by France after a new contagious strain of the coronavirus was found in the UK, said 'I deplore that France went against our recommendations'.

France reopens border with UK amid truck gridlock around Dover

France — Link

France has reopened its borders with the Britain – which were closed at the weekend due to fears over the spread of infections by a new coronavirus strain identified in England – on condition that travellers carry proof of testing negative for the virus, but the huge backlog of trucks that have been piling up around the normally busy port of Dover is expected to take days to clear.

France grants citizenship to immigrant workers on epidemic frontline

France — Link

Immigrants in France who were this year in frontline jobs during the coronavirus epidemic, including healthcare staff, shop workers and cleaners, are being offered fast-track French citizenship.