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. 

France bars non-essential travel from UK over Omicron virus spread

International— Link

The French government has announced a ban from Saturday on arrivals from the UK except for its nationals, others with official residency in the country and people who can justify 'essential' reasons for travelling in France, in a move prompted by the sharp rise in Britain of the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

France registers surge in Covid-19 hospitalisations

France— Link

Health ministry reported said number of Covid-19 patients in French hospitals rose by 618 to 12,714, the second-highest net one-day increase this year behind the net increase of 732 on April 6, when patient tally was above 30,600.

France to close nightclubs, extend use of face masks in schools

France— Link

Prime minister Jean Castex also urged businesses to encourage working from home and called on people to 'lift the pedal' on social interactions such as office parties as the year-end holidays approach.

First case of Omicron variant case found in mainland France

France— Link

A statement from the Paris regional health authority said the case, a man between ages 50 and 60, tested positive on November 25th following his return from a trip to Nigeria.

Omicron variant found on French Indian Ocean territory of Réunion

France— Link

The person is a 53-year old man who had travelled to Mozambique and made a stop-over in South Africa and who  returned to La Réunion around two weeks ago.

Paris sends police reinforcements to Guadeloupe as riots continue

France— Link

France has sent police reinforcements, including elite units, to its Caribbean island La Guadeloupe after a week of riots escalated this weekend, amid protests against the introduction of restrictions on movement to counter the coronavirus epidemic, and to a background of long-simmering social unrest. 

Macron announces Covid-19 booster shot campaign for 50 to 64-year-olds

France— Link

French president said the fifth wave of Covid-19 has begun in Europe and the rising Covid-19 incidence rate, up 40 percent in France over the past week, as well as rising hospitalisations were "alert signals".

The French village mayor resisting Covid health pass and walking legal tightrope

France— Report

Introduced in France this summer, a “health pass” attesting that the holder is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or has recently tested negative to the coronavirus, is required for gaining access to a wide range of public venues. This month, as the government moves to extend its power to impose the pass through to next summer, Mediapart took to the road to gather reactions to the restrictions in the lesser populated rural areas of central and south-west France, where local concerns contrast with those in crowded urban zones. Here, Nicolas Cheviron reports from the village of Corn, whose mayor, Dominique Legresy, a fervent opponent of the pass, confides how he tries “to allow things to happen” without breaking the law.

France to extend Covid state of emergency until July 2022

France— Link

The current state of emergency law in France - allowing the government to impose coronavirus-related restrictions - is set to expire on November 15.

French pharma giant Sanofi halts work on mRNA Covid-19 vaccine

France— Link

French pharmaceutical group Sanofi has announced it is halting work on developing a Covid-19 vaccine using mRNA messenger technology because of the abundance of supplies of similar vaccines from other firms, and will instead develope mRNA vaccines against other pathogens, including the flu.

About 3,000 French health staff suspended for refusing Covid jab

France— Link

French health minister Olivier Véran has announced that around 3,000 healthcare workers acroos France have been suspended from duty without pay after failing to meet the deadline they were given to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Tears and anger as reluctant nurses get Covid vaccine to meet French state's deadline


September 15th 2021 was the deadline for all healthcare professionals and many other workers in France to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The list of those subject to mandatory vaccination includes non-medical staff in hospitals, gendarmes, firefighters, ambulance staff and home carers. Those who fail to comply by the deadline will face being suspended without pay. As today's deadline loomed, hospitals were trying to persuade the last remaining reluctant staff members to get their vaccinations. Many in the medical profession, while fully supporting vaccination, see the obligatory nature of the injections as a major policy failure. Caroline Coq-Chodorge spoke to some involved in this last-minute race for vaccination.

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.

French ex-health minister Buzyn faces probe over handling of pandemic

France— Link

Agnès Buzyn faces investigation over  claims of "endangering the lives of others" said prosecutors, but not for a second possible offence of "failure to stop a disaster".