News from France – 4 April 2021

A weekly review of news from France

This is News from France, a weekly review for Sunday 4 April

Restrictions in 19 departments have been extended to the whole of France for the next four weeks in an attempt to control the increase in the number of new Covid cases.

Described as a “light lockdown” non-essential businesses are closed and trips limited to a 10 kilometer radius around people’s homes. Schools will be closed from Tuesday.

According to the government AntiCovid app on Sunday there were 46,677 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours and intensive care units in hospitals are at full capacity.

The vaccination programme is continuing, with 9.11 million people vaccinated so far. From next Tuesday, seven military hospitals are to open vaccination centres, defense minister Florence Parly announced.

Economy minister Bruno le Maire remained upbeat about the prospects for the year, saying the fundamentals were solid. France should receive its 5 billion euro share of the European Union’s recovery fund in July.

The plans include creating 160,000 new jobs this year, according to the prime minister.

The governor of the central bank (Banque de France) forecast growth of 5.5 percent this year after a contraction of 8.2 percent last year.

In a televised address on Wednesday, President Macron said cafe terraces would start to open again from mid May, if the health situation allowed.

From mid-May to the beginning of summer, there would be a schedule of gradual reopening for culture, sports, leisure, events and cafes and restaurants, he said.

Some major events are in doubt – including the Roland Garros tennis tournament due to start on 17 May.

and scientists have warned of the dangers of invasive species to the environment.

In a report published in the journal Nature, a team from the Ecology, Systematics and Evolution Laboratory said the introduction and spread of a species outside its native habitat had resulted in over a trillion US dollars in associated costs between 1970 and 2017.

They cited Australia’s feral European rabbit populations and the Asian long-horned beetle which is causing damage in American forests.

The 5-year project found the trend showed no sign of slowing down and called for coordinated measures to protect and control biodiversity.

This has been News from France, a weekly review in English, today Sunday 4th April 2021

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