Curfew ‘not enough’ to slow down virus, says French government

France — Link

A spokesperson said the government was considering “different scenarios” ranging from the “unlikely” option of maintaining the current curfew, to a “very tight lockdown”.

Macron faces growing pressure to impose new lockdown in France

France — Link

Doctors and researchers are raising the alarm as new, more contagious variants of the coronavirus circulate in France and the prime minister has hinted that tougher measures might be needed.

France’s Pasteur Institute abandons its main Covid-19 vaccine project

France — Link

News is  further blow for hopes of a French-led vaccine following recent news that leading national pharmaceutical company Sanofi is also struggling to bring its vaccine candidate to market.

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.

Celebrated French stuntman Rémy Julienne dies of Covid-19

France — Link

Rémy Julienne, one of the world's most celebrated stuntmen, who worked on six James Bond films and doubled for stars Sean Connery and Roger Moore, as well as for top French actors including Yves Montand, Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo, has died in a French hospital at the age of 90 from complications due to Covid-19.

France to help students hit by Covid blues and financial hardship

France — Link

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced moves to help higher education students cope with the social and financial disruption of their lives by lockdowns and curfews amid the coronavirus epidemic, promising the provision of one-euro meals for all and subsidies for psychological counselling in recognition of serious income and mental health problems caused for many isolated students. 

French pharma giant Sanofi struggling in race for Covid vaccine


The so-called “big pharma” groups are engaged in fierce competition to produce efficacious Covid-19 vaccines. While Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have gained widespread approval for their vaccines, that of France’s flagship pharma group Sanofi, developed in partnership with UK drugs firm GSK, is seriously delayed after disappointing clinical tests. Some argue that Sanofi should serve the public interest and turn to producing the approved vaccines of its rivals, supplies of which are disrupted. But, as Rozenn Le Saint reports, the stakes are high and defeat would be costly in more ways than one.

French PM ramps up anti-Covid plan with national 6pm-6am curfew

France — Link

A 12-hour curfew beginning at 6pm that was recently introduced in regions of eastern France where the return of the coronavirus epidemic took a significant hold has now been extended to all of France, beginning on Saturday and for a renewable two weeks, while visitors to the country from outside the EU face new restrictions including a seven-day isolation period even if they recently tested negative for the virus.

Covid-19: why French carehome staff are refusing the vaccine


The French government has announced a target of administering one million jabs of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of January. Priority for the voluntary jab has been given to the elderly and healthcare workers, but it appears that a significant number of staff in the country’s carehomes are refusing to be vaccinated over fears they have of potential side effects. Cécile Andrzejewski has been speaking to carehome workers across France about their scepticism, which they say is based on past incoherencies and U-turns in government policy to the coronavirus epidemic.   

Migrant crisis leads to growing violence on French overseas territory of Mayotte


Violence is reaching unprecedented levels in the French overseas département of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean, prompted by the arrival of migrants from the neighbouring island nation of Comoros on makeshift boats. The result has been regular expulsions and repatriation of illegal migrants, clashes between the new arrivals and locals, and even riots. The situation has been exacerbated by the Covid crisis. Meanwhile the heavy-handed security response by the authorities in this small département has caused disquiet among local associations. Julien Sartre reports.

French new Covid-19 cases at seven-week high

France — Link

New Covid-19 infections are on average increasing by more than 18,000 a day, figures show.

France in race to contain new Covid-19 variant, speed up vaccine rollout

France — Link

Marseille mayorsaid seven to eight people had tested positive for the new variant in the city, while tests were underway on 30 others who may also have been exposed to it.

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.