Weekly Post – May 30th

Living through a pandemic

in the south of France

435 days in Carcassonne since

1st lockdown in March 2020



Thanks to the figures communicated this Saturday 29 May by Santé publique France, here is the outcome of the epidemic in the region, in the Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales.

On 29 May, the region had 877 patients hospitalised for Covid, 33 less than the previous day. A figure not seen since 20 October last.

Some 181 of them are being treated in critical care units (intensive care unit, intensive care unit or continuous surveillance unit), i.e. 2 less in 24 hours. This is the highest level since 13 January.

In addition, 4,491 deaths due to Covid were recorded in health establishments in the region, i.e. 4 more than the previous day.
And 20,915 people have been able to return home since the beginning of the epidemic, including 46 since the previous day.

The decline stabilises in the Aude
In the Aude, the number of people hospitalised for Covid reached 76 on Wednesday (stable in 24 hours). Unpublished since the beginning of January.

Among them, 10 are in critical care (stable). A figure not seen since 25 March.

In the department, 361 deaths due to Covid are to be deplored in hospital, one more in 24 hours. In Aude, 1,169 people have returned home since March, 2 more than the day before.

Back to the end of January in the P.-O.
In the Pyrénées-Orientales, 100 patients are being treated in hospitals in the department, 1 more than on Friday. This indicator is back to its level of 21-22 January.

Some 14 of them are being treated in critical care (resuscitation, intensive care or continuous monitoring), i.e. 1 less in 24 hours. This is a figure not seen since 18 January.

One more death has been reported since Friday. In total, 319 people have died in hospital in the department since March 2020.

Finally, 1,332 patients were able to return home, +1 in 24 hours.


I guess the news of the week which affects some of us is that France, following Germany a few days ago, is imposing a ‘mandatory isolation’ for travellers arriving from the UK. The quarantine measure is due to come into force from Monday May 31st. Compelling reasons will be required for non-resident foreign nationals travelling to France from the UK, who will be required to produce a PCR or antigen test that is less than 48 hours old.

Until now, sixteen countries were subject to mandatory quarantine in France, including Brazil, India, Argentina and Turkey. For these territories, the police can check the presence of travellers at their quarantine location without warning and impose a fine of between 1,000 and 1,500 euros if they are absent.

Travellers must also present a negative PCR test less than thirty-six hours old (instead of seventy-two hours old), or a negative PCR test less than seventy-two hours old with a negative antigen test less than twenty-four hours old.


Another slight drop of the Incidence Rate in the Aude departement.


Covid-19: why the situation in the UK is worrying again

It is a country to which many eyes are turned. The UK is raising fears among its European neighbours as cases of Covid-19 linked to the Indian B.1.617 variant, particularly the B.1.617.2 sub-lineage, have been rising across the country in recent weeks. The number of infections with this potentially highly contagious variant has risen by 160% in the past week, reports the Guardian.

The health agency Public Health England has counted 3424 confirmed cases, compared to 1313 confirmed cases on the previous Thursday. These figures are likely to be underestimated, the health agency said, because of a “time lag between the collection of samples and the revelation of the variant identified in the positive tests”. These outbreaks of the Indian variant could jeopardise the lifting of the latest restrictions in England, scheduled for 21 June.

The B.1.617.2 variant has been identified in at least 86 different locations around the country, including Glasgow, Scotland, reports the BBC. According to Public Health England, “clusters of cases across the country” have been recorded. The Indian variant is therefore on the way to becoming the majority in the country. However, the UK has not yet seen a dramatic increase in the number of new cases of Covid-19. As of 23 May, the country had recorded an average of 2254 cases per day, compared to 2074 cases on 14 May, Reuters reports.

▫️ TRAVEL (🔸 = NEW)

🔸 28/05: France is no longer on Ireland‘s red list. Passengers coming from France no longer need to quarantine in a hotel. They can do it in a place of their choice and come out of quarantine after 5 days if they pass a negative PCR test.
🔸 28/05: Compelling reasons are no longer required to travel to Norway. However, it is still mandatory to spend at least 7 days in a quarantine hotel.

🔸 27/05: Flights to Sri Lanka will resume on 1 June with a limit of 75 passengers per flight and 14 days quarantine for all passengers, vaccinated or not. 
🔸 27/05: Tunisia to abolish quarantine and PCR testing for vaccinated people on 1 June. 

🔸 26/05: France imposes mandatory isolation for arrivals from the UK. 
🔸 26/05: From 31 May, vaccinated people will be exempt from quarantine in Switzerland.
🔸 26/05: Spain will accept vaccinated tourists from 7 June, without requiring a test.
🔸 26/05: Georgia to open its land borders on 1 June.
🔸 26/05: Cambodia‘s tourism ministry suggests that the country is preparing to welcome tourists again in the fourth quarter of 2021.
🔸 26/05: Mauritius extends the closure of its borders until at least 30 June.

🔸 25/05: Mongolia will reopen its borders to vaccinated people on 1 July. 
🔸 25/05: New Aquitaine and Brittany are no longer considered at risk by Switzerland. People coming from these regions are no longer subject to quarantine or PCR testing. 
🔸 25/05: Algeria will reopen its borders on June 1st, but with very strict conditions: 3 flights per week from France, PCR test of less than 36 hours, 5-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel, PCR test at the end of containment, 5 additional days of quarantine in case of positive test. 
🔸 25/05: Germany no longer imposes quarantine on people who present a negative test, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from covid. 

21/05: Spain has announced that it will let in all vaccinated people, regardless of their country of origin, from 7 June. It is not yet clear whether this means that vaccinated people will be able to enter without a PCR test.
21/05: US land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed until at least 21 June. 
21/05: Panama temporarily closes its land border with Colombia. 
21/05: Belize will reopen its land and sea borders with Guatemala and Mexico on 31 May, but with a requirement to stay in a Golden Standard hotel. 
21/05: France is now considered a risk country by Zambia, which means an additional test on arrival and a 14-day quarantine.
21/05: The Minister of Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, hopes for a gradual resumption of international flights throughout the year: “From mid-June, we will try to reopen international flights, from and to North America, Africa, and some countries in South-East Asia. 

19/05: As of 9 June, you will no longer need a compelling reason to travel to Guadeloupe, Martinique or Reunion.
19/05Denmark has reopened its borders.
19/05 : Thailand: Phuket confirms it will reopen to vaccinated foreign tourists on 1 July.

18/05 : Austria to lift quarantine requirement on 19 May.

16/05 : Algeria to gradually reopen its borders from early June.
16/05 : Italy has ended its quarantine for European tourists.
16/05: From Monday 17 May, people coming from France will no longer have to undergo quarantine when arriving in Portugal.

14/05: Vaccinated people no longer need a PCR test to enter Greece.
14/05: People who have been vaccinated or have had covid no longer need a PCR test to enter Germany.
14/05: France’s border reopening strategy has been published:

“Within the European Union, travel facilitated by the health pass To travel within the European Union, it is currently not necessary to justify the reason for travel, but prior testing obligations (-72h) are required.

The government is working with the other Member States on a “green pass” to support the resumption of tourism and facilitate border crossings through common standards.

While the test is already an element of proof used, this “green pass” will enable travellers to show that they have been fully vaccinated at border controls.

For travellers entering France from outside the European Union, tourist flows will be reopened from 9 June depending on the health situation in these countries. France will have a policy of controlling entry to its territory that is proportionate to the health situation in each third country, in accordance with a vision shared with the other Member States of the European Union.

  • For countries in which the virus is not actively circulating, and in which no variants of concern have been identified (“green countries”), flows may be resumed under much more flexible arrangements.
  • For countries where the virus is actively circulating but in controlled proportions, and without the spread of variants of concern (“orange countries”), the conditions for entry into France will be more restrictive, particularly for unvaccinated travellers.
  • Finally, a European emergency mechanism will aim to establish a list of “red countries” for which drastic measures will be implemented, in view of the epidemic circulation in these countries, as well as the presence of variants of concern: strict limitation of people authorised to travel, tests on boarding and arrival, strictly controlled isolation and quarantine measures.

Pending European harmonisation of the criteria for classifying “red countries”, and in order to protect the French without delay, France has already put in place these drastic measures for incoming flows from the following countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (list as of 10 May 2021).

For EU citizens wishing to travel outside the European Union, it is necessary to find out in advance about the entry restrictions and health situation in the destination country.

  • Travel conditions will depend on the entry restrictions applied by each country.
  • It is still not advisable to travel to “orange countries” and it is strongly recommended not to travel to “red countries”.

12/05: Reopening of borders: France expects reciprocity from the United States.
12/05 : The suspension of international flights to and from Nepal is extended at least until 31 May.
12/05: Self-tests are now accepted to enter the United States. However, you still need to have spent at least 14 days outside the Schengen area to enter the country.
11/05: Thailand may fully reopen its borders by 1 January 2022.

10/05: Fully vaccinated persons are now exempt from PCR testing to enter Cyprus.
10/05: Morocco has extended the state of health emergency until 10 June.
10/05: Travellers from 12 countries will be able to travel to England without quarantine from 17 May, but France is not one of them.
10/05: French Polynesia will not open to travellers from mainland France without compelling reasons until July.
10/05: Tunisia has put in place a new general lockdown from 9 to 16 May.
07/05: The quarantine requirement for entry into France has been extended to seven additional countries: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Qatar. For these countries, a PCR test of 36 hours (instead of 72 hours) or a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours accompanied by a negative antigen test of less than 24 hours is now required.
07/05: Australia‘s borders may not fully reopen until mid to late 2022.




▫️ MUSIC OF 1969

Another hit in France during that very special year of the 1st moon landing and Woodstock

▫️ FUN (thank to Graham T)

Apparently, it was banned.


Hot and sunny today. This should help the pool water gain a couple of degrees


🔸 What it was like on board the Qantas supermoon flight to nowhere

🔸 NASA’s Mars helicopter goes on wild ride after navigation error 

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