News from France

Weekly review of news from France in English –

This is News from France, a weekly review in English, today Sunday 17 January:

The focus for this week was:

The spread of Coronavirus and the slow roll out of the vaccine programme

The effects of the pandemic on the French economy

Obligatory Covid tests for travelers arriving in France from outside Europe

and other business news. 

All of France is living under a dusk to dawn curfew as a result of the latest government measures to contain the Coronavirus.

While schools remain open, people are being urged to work from home while cafes and restaurants are closed. The curfew starts at 6 p.m and is lifted at 6 a.m. daily. 

The rollout of the vaccine programme is progressing slowly. According to the government mobile app, by this weekend 413,000 people have been vaccinated while 21,000 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours. 

From Monday, travelers arriving in France from outside the European space need a negative test for the Covid virus.  They also need to self-isolate for seven days on arrival, and to take a second test at the end of that period.

With unemployment at 9 percent, estimates for economic recovery have been adjusted to take into account  the slow rollout of the vaccines. The economy is not expected to tick upwards until the second half of the year. 

In related business news, the French economy minister said that the government will stop a Canadian multi-national from taking over retail giant Carrefour. 

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said “This health crisis has taught us one thing — food security has no price.”

He said the government was ready to use its new investment screening powers in the name of food security to make sure that Carrefour stays French.

Greek lawmakers approved the purchase of 18 Rafale French fighter jets this week as part of Greece’s investment in its armed forces. 

Greece has been in a dispute with Turkey over energy resources in the Mediterranean. 

The agreement for six new and 12 used Rafale jets is expected to be signed by France and Greece in January. The first deliveries are expected during the first half of the year.

And in Paris, the mayor’s office has outlined plans to reduce traffic on the Champs-Élysées from eight to four lanes, to plant trees and create more space for pedestrians in a multi-million euro project. Some of the work is due to be finished in time for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

This has been News from France, a weekly review in English, today Sunday 17 January 2021.

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