The Côte d'Azur placed on weekend lockdown
Updated: Apr 16
The Alpes-Maritimes region becomes the first in France to test a weekend lockdown.
For the next two weekends, people across the French Riviera will be confined to their homes once again. From Friday evening 26 Feb, at 6 pm until Monday morning 1 Mar. at 6 am, it will be prohibited to go further than 5 km from your home and you must only go out for essential purposes, exercise or food shopping. Completing an attestation will be obligatory before going out.
During the week, the 6 pm curfew will remain in place. To ensure rules are enforced, checks and controls are to be increased and well enforced.
The following two weekends will be spent under these rules across the coastline spanning the 'littoral' communities from Menton to Théole-sur-Mer. The affected towns include all those along the coast and the towns immediately inland, including Biot, Le Cannet, Mougins, Mouans-Sartoux, Grasse, etc. See the full list below:
Exit rules will be similar to the last lockdown, limiting outings to short exercise, medical necessity and food shopping. Again, an attestation will be required for any exit. That online form is accessible through the StopCovid App and online here: https://media.interieur.gouv.fr/attestation-deplacement-derogatoire-covid-19/
Business is to take another hit as shops larger than 5000 m², except grocery stores, will be forced to close from Tuesday 23 Feb. Whilst smaller shops can remain open, they must tighten their protective measures. Those with a space larger than 400m² must from now dedicate a larger space to each customer, meaning the number of people they can have inside at any one time is reduced.
The announcement on Monday at noon was highly anticipated and tougher restrictions were expected. The severity of the situation brought the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, to Nice on Saturday to meet with Mayor Estrosi, where he urged local leaders to take further action.
The Alpes-Maritimes currently has the highest Covid rate in the country. Figures stand at a worrying 588 cases per 100,000 people compared to the French national average of 190. The new English variant now accounts for more than half of infections. A more contagious version, this has been cited by leaders as a cause for concern.
The highest rates are in metropolitan Nice, which has 735 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
There is some good news, as Bernard Gonzalez, the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes, assured that the region has been made a priority in the vaccination rollout. This week will see a massive increase in vaccines with the delivery of several thousand from AstraZeneca due in the coming days.
The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has expressed support for the decision. Writing on Twitter, that the restrictions were ‘necessary’ and may even have to be extended further, should the situation deteriorate any further.
However, the Mayor of Antibes, Jean Leonetti, does not agree with the new restrictions. He labelled two weekends of lockdown ‘’useless in terms of health and penalising’’ and added that people were fed up with ‘stop-and-go’ measures.
We can only hope that two more weekends of sacrifice will help bring infections on the Riviera down and keep our community safe.