Living through a pandemic in the south of France
326 days in Carcassonne since the 1st lockdown in March 2020
▫️ News and titbits
▫️ Flu, gastro or bronchitis
The winter of 2020-2021 will probably remain as an anomaly in the statistical series of epidemiological researchers. Not only because an emerging virus, SARS-CoV-2, caused a pandemic, but also because the health measures adopted to contain its spread have extinguished almost all other usual winter epidemics.
Wearing masks, hand washing, but above all the closure of places where there is a lot of mixing (bars, restaurants, etc.) have slowed the circulation of other viruses that are mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets and aerosols.
▫️ What changed on 1 February 2021
● Motorway toll rates increase from 0.30% to 0.65% on average from 1 February 2021. The average increase in these rates amounts to 0.44% for all companies operating the motorway network.
● Two-wheeler circulation. Since 1 February 2021, motorised two and three-wheelers have been banned from circulating between two lanes of cars anywhere in France. The experiment with inter-lane traffic (CIF) for motorbikes and scooters on certain roads in 11 French departments was completed on 31 January 2021.
● Taxi fares, which must come into force by 1 February 2021 at the latest, are set by an order published in the Official Journal of 29 December 2020. In 2021, the applicable amounts are identical to those of the previous year, except for the flat-rate fares for journeys to certain airports, which are changing. The minimum fare for a journey remains set at €7.30 for all taxis (Parisians and non-Parisians). The fare for pick-up is capped at €4.18.
● Electricity. From February 1, 2021, the regulated electricity sales tariffs of EDF and Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) will increase by an average of 1.6%. This is what the site of the national energy ombudsman indicates.
● Gas. Engie’s regulated tariffs for the sale of gas will increase by an average of 3.5% on 1 February 2021 compared with the scale applicable since 1 January 2021.
▫️ Daily and weekly Corona virus statistics are now visible here . I have changed the format to make it more visible and as a result there is a new permanent link.
It is still possible to move freely in the countries of the European space, from France. But if you wish to travel to a country outside this European area, you can only do so if your trip can be justified on “compelling reasons”.
▪︎ If you wish to visit a country in the European area
The ban on travel unless there are compelling reasons does not currently apply to countries in the European area. This zone is therefore still freely open to travellers leaving France. It includes the 27 member countries of the European Union (obviously does not include the UK) plus Switzerland, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and the Vatican, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
From France, you can therefore travel to Germany, Norway, Spain or Italy, whatever your reason, and without any particular justification. However, the Quai d’Orsay states on its website that travel between European countries is “totally and strictly inadvisable” and “until further notice”. Disadvised, but not prohibited or really restricted.
▪︎ If you wish to leave France for a country outside the European area
As soon as you want to go to a country that is not in the European area, it gets complicated. The general principle is a total ban on leaving the country, except for “compelling personal or family reasons, health reasons of an emergency nature or professional reasons that cannot be postponed”, explains the ministry of foreign affairs. So there is no question of taking a ticket to go on holiday to Thailand, Canada or Morocco.
It is not enough to swear with your hand on your heart that your trip meets one of these three exceptions. You have to download a certificate of honour from the Ministry of the Interior website (PDF document) which you will then have to fill in. This certificate must be presented to the transport company at the time of boarding, together with any appropriate supporting documents. “In the event of false declaration or invalid reason, boarding will be refused”, the document states.
Verification will be carried out according to a double curtain: “there will be checks by airlines, coupled with border police checks,” an airport source told AFP. Air carriers will not be able to check in a passenger if he or she does not have his or her travel certificate. But the company only checks the presence of the document and is not the one “who decides whether the reason is compelling or not”, this being the sole responsibility of the border police, Air France told AFP.
Here is a list of the reasons given and the documents needed to justify them.
⇢For compelling reasons of a personal or family nature
▪︎Death of a direct-line family member of a sibling; visit to a person with a life-threatening condition for direct-line family members.
Documents required: death certificate or death certificate, medical certificate establishing the situation of the person whose prognosis is life-threatening.
▪︎ Custody of children by the parent with parental authority or whose right of custody is recognised by a court decision
Documents required: court decision and proof of place of residence
▪︎ Summons by a judicial or administrative authority
Required document: summons by the administrative or judicial authority
▪︎ Legal or economic impossibility to stay in the territory where the person is. Execution of an expulsion order from the territory
Documents required: Expiring residence permit, act of dismissal, etc…
▪︎ Students at the beginning, resumption or end of a course of study
Document required: certificate of schooling issued by the institution
⇢ For an overriding health reason
▪︎ Vital medical emergency (for the person as well as an accompanying person if his/her presence is indispensable)
Required documents: medical certificate, proof of planned hospitalisation, etc…
⇢ For imperative professional reasons
▪︎ Missions essential to the pursuit of an economic activity, requiring a presence on the spot which cannot be postponed and whose postponement or cancellation would have manifestly disproportionate consequences or would be impossible (including transport professionals)
Required documents: employer’s certificate, professional card for crews in international goods transport, international passenger transport, international maritime transport, etc.
▪︎ Health professionals contributing to the fight against Covid-19 or participating in cooperation operations of major interest in the field of health.
Piece required: business card
▪︎ Ad hoc missions related to the exercise of public authority prerogatives (including diplomatic missions) that cannot be deferred or postponed.
Required documents: business card, mission order
▪︎ High level professional sportsmen and women for participation in meetings validated by the Ministry of Sport
Required documents: professional card, certificate issued by the organiser in connection with the Ministry of Sport.
▫️ SUPER BOWL LV
Tonight is the night
Super Bowl LV, the 55th Super Bowl and the 51st modern-era National Football League (NFL) championship game, will decide the league champion for the 2020 NFL season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion Kansas City Chiefs will play the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Tampa Bay Bussaneers.
▫️ ANCILLARY NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND
🖊 Are your Zoom meetings getting a little dull?
A farmer who was half kidding when she suggested hiring out her goats out for Zoom meetings during lockdown has said making £50,000 shows it was no joke.
Dot McCarthy, from Rossendale in Lancashire, said the number of people paying for “show goat” Lola and others to butt in on calls had been “insane”.
She added that it was “more fun” than selling manure to make ends meet.
🖊 Does crime pay? Maybe, if you live in Brighton:
A CHAMPAGNE thief appeared in court after stealing from shops.
Daryl Swan had a taste for the finer things in life, taking bottles of bubbly from Co-op stores in Brighton and Hove.
The 32-year-old stole two bottles worth £40 during one raid on a Co-op in Brighton, and two more bottles worth £56 from the Western Road store three days later.
At Brighton Magistrates’ Court he admitted three counts of stealing Champagne last year.
Swan also admitted stealing a jacket worth £120 from the Farah store in Brighton, and a quilted Hugo Boss coat worth £449 during a crime spree.
The thief, of Oriental Place, Brighton, was told to complete 20 rehabilitation sessions and to pay a £50 fine and a £90 surcharge.
Value of goods stolen £665
Cost to the thief £140
Today marks the 140th day of my second Detox episode within the past 12 months.
▫️ MUST WATCH
With David Attenborough. Perfect Planet analyzes, in five episodes, how the forces of nature, including the power of the Sun or even humans, drive and shape life on Earth.
ANOTHER ONE IN MY TOP 50
Another great oldie
▫️ CLASSIC CARS
My friend Chris has put his Rover P5 up for auction.
The event is scheduled on March 26th.
I can vouch for the car if anyone is interested, I had a very pleasant trip across France to the Le Mans 24h race 2 years ago.
I have immortalised the car in my in-the-planning comic book
▫️ PIC OF THE DAY
Drawing from a very good friend of mine. I have started posting some of his work here
▫️ NEWS FROM ACROSS THE POND
Not as “warm” than in the past few days but still fairly mild and wet
All is quiet as far as floods are concerned. We are still “Green”.
▫️ VENDEE GLOBE
Yesterday afternoon, another boat made it to the finish line in 14th position. Pure Best Western with skipper Romain Attanasio.
The next expected 4 boats are a few miles from each other but 1.000+nm away. It looks like a real battle is on.
On the way
▫️ Some links I use