LATEST NEWS

COVID-19: BAV Committee Circulars and other timely information (most recent at the top)


Committee Circular N° 32 - 1 May 2021

Hello,

I am pleased to say that optimism for the future is gaining following the present confinement and advances in vaccinations.

There is however still good reason to be cautious as, not only can those that have been vaccinated catch Covid and pass it on but there have been a few cases of the Indian mutation found in France and Europe.

Président Macron has announced the general programme of deconfinement running up to the end of June but this is conditional under the situation not deteriorating beyond 400 cases per 100000 on a Département by Département basis.

Restrictive measures may be imposed in the event of a rate of more than 400 per 100000 in a Département.

At present the Var is 280.

Nevertheless hospital occupation rates in the emergency rooms have recently been at the highest level in the Var but there has been a small degree of improvement.

Deconfinement

For those with itchy feet, from 3 May the 10km limit will be removed but the curfew will remain with the evening start time gradually get later.

Existing sanitary measures will continue.

The proposed programme of deconfinement / road map is as follows:-

3 May

Curfew remains at 19.00.

Home working is still required.

Colleges and lycées are reopened for half time attendance.

The Attestation is only required between 19.00 and 06.00.

Religious centres are unrestricted subject to security measures.

19 May

The curfew starts at 21.00 until 06.00.

Home working is still required.

Non essential shops reopen.

Restaurant and bar terraces can reopen subject to no more than 6 people (including children) per table.

Museums, cinemas, theatres and entertainment halls with seating will reopen. There will be a limit of 800 people in the interior and 1000 in the exterior.

Sports centres / stadiums to reopen subject to the same limit of attendance.

Sports activities can restart subject to COVID sanitary measures.

The limit of people gathering increases from 6 to 10.

9 June

The curfew changes to 23.00 to 06.00.

There is a relaxation of homeworking.

Reopening of cafes and restaurants subject to not more than 6 on a table.

Up to 5000 people can attend cultural and sporting events subject to having a health pass (certificate of vaccination or PCR test).

Subject to contagion rates all sports facilities will reopen.

Exhibition centres will reopen subject to health passes.

Foreign tourists (British) can enter France with a health pass.

30 June

Curfew finishes.

It will be possible to have more than 1000 people in all event venues subject to having health passes.

I’m sure that many of us will be sorry that night clubs will still not be able to reopen until at least July!!

Travel

Although some international travel from the UK is permitted from 17 May, non European Union (ie. including UK) tourists (including those with second homes here) cannot enter France until 9 June and then a health pass possibly in the form of a certificate of vaccination or PCR test will be required.

Vaccinations

For now only those over 55 years old or those over 18 with certain medical conditions are able to be vaccinated.

It is now proposed that vaccinations will extend to over 50s from 15 May and to all adults from 15 June.

The target is to have vaccinated 15 million people by 30 April, 20 million by 15 May and 30 million by 15 June.

The table for permitted vaccinations is as follows:-

Covid Vaccination Certificate

From the beginning of June, if you have received your vaccinations in France and are resident you should receive by email a document from the French Government which will be capable of being downloaded on the TousAntiCovid app.

This will be accepted in Europe as evidence of having been vaccinated so please look out for this email.

Please therefore continue to stay safe and healthy.

Rob Flanagan
Chairman and Committee

BA of the Var


Committee Circular N° 31 - 1 April 2021

Hello,

We hope that you are continuing to stay safe.

There is important news in that there is a new confinement starting at midnight on Saturday 3 April (well, at least it isn’t All Fools Day!)

This is brought about due to the fact that the contagion figures have become substantially worse over the last few weeks and hospitals are inundated.

Confinement

Most non essential shops trades and schools (until 12 April)will again be closing for 4 weeks with special arrangements for colleges and lycées (in this area, Zone B, children were not due to return from holiday on 10 May but it appears that there will be virtual lessons from 26 April and return to school on 3 May).

There are few shops other than food shops that are permitted to remain open but these include hairdressers (good for those still with hair!), estate agents (concerning principal residence), notaires, car show rooms (subject to rdv), book shops, pépinières, chocolate shops (yummy) and florists.

Individuals will be permitted to travel up to 10km from their home but it will be necessary to have proof of address and ID even then.

Attestations

Once again, Attestations will be required for leaving home if travelling more than 10 km in which case the reasons for going beyond 10km are extremely limited.

The curfew still remains from 19.00 to 06.00 with an Attestation being required during these hours.

Travel between Départements may be tolerated (for return from the Easter break) until 5 April but then will be banned except for the Attestation reasons.

Vaccinations

Those over 70 years of age can now be vaccinated and, in addition to the centres listed by Doctorlib, pharmacies and many GPs have started lists for the under 75 age group.

This is constantly being changed and the age limit may be flexible due to availability of places so do try to book on Doctorlib.

In any event, people between 60 and 70 can be vaccinated from 16 April and those from 50 to 60 from 15 May. Under 50s from mid June.

Please ensure that you get vaccinated! The schedule of future vaccinations is below.

Pharmacies are suggesting you put your name down wherever you can then cancel when you have a rdv.

Groups

Groups of more than 6 are totally prohibited in public spaces subject to a fine of 135€ for a breach and it is recommended that this also applies to private property.

We are going to have to take considerable care for many months, at least until most of the country, if not Europe is vaccinated, so please take care.

We hope that you have a very pleasant and peaceful Easter.

Rob Flanagan
Chairman and Committee BAV


Committee Circular N° 30 - 11 March 2021

Hello,

We have reached a milestone in the Circulars in that this is the 30th but thankfully we are now in more positive times, with light at the end of the tunnel if we all continue to take all necessary precautions.

Provence (especially the Alpes Maritime / Nice area) and Dunkirk are areas giving most concern over the spread of Covid in France.

As a result most villages and towns in the Var require masks to be worn so it is best to advise that they should be worn anywhere outside the house - but please avoid the use of home made and unapproved masks as the use of these will not give the same level of protection and may incur a fine as with not wearing a mask.

Please note that the requirement to wear a mask still continues even if you have been vaccinated as it is still possible to catch Covid and to pass on the virus.

If you have been in contact with somebody with Covid you must now self isolate / quarantine for 10 days and not 7 days as previously.

The majority of the south east of France - Bouches Du Rhône, Var and Alpes Maritimes are under vigilance and recently the Hautes Alpes (05) has been added.

The coastal area of the Alpes Maritime currently has confinement at weekends although you are still able to travel (with an Attestation) to the airport.

As part of the precautions, in these areas shopping halls of more than 10,000 sq.m are now closed (previously 20,000) but open shopping centres can remain operational.

In addition to certain shops / shopping centres that are already closed, the following are now to close from 9 March:-

Vaccinations

It is now possible to be vaccinated by about 30,000 doctors and, from 15 March at some pharmacies around France. Doctors are generally compiling lists of those wishing to be vaccinated as they need to have groups of 6 or 10 depending on the vaccine and so it might to prudent to speak to your doctor.

There are now also 5 more centres of vaccination at Aups, Frejus, Fayance, La Londe les Maures and St Maximin la Sainte Baume.

12 centres in the Var will be open at the weekend. These include Toulon, Frejus, Draguignan, Gassin, Fayence, Brignoles, Hyeres, Grimaud and La Seyne Sur Mer.

Presently only over 75 year olds and 65 - 74 year olds with certain medical conditions can be vaccinated without the need for a prescription.

Other 65 - 74 year olds should be vaccinated from mid April (a month earlier than previously proposed).

A member has reported that he, and friends, had no problem making reservations for the Basse Nature, Frejus by calling 04 94 51 91 60.

Travel

It is still absolutely prohibited to travel from the UK to France except to return to a principal residence or for exceptional family reasons. The UK has also imposed a prohibition from taking holidays until 17 May.

Each European country has its own rules on travel from France ranging from PCR tests being required 48 or 72 hours before entry to quarantine from 7 to 14 days on entry. The PCR test may also be required on arrival for which a charge will be made. In some cases (eg. Greece) a form is required to be complete online before entry.

A check should therefore be made with the destination country before travel in order to determine the requirements.

Brexit

Following Brexit it is (as it was previously) necessary to carry some form of recognised ID. The new residency cards (Titre de Séjour) do not count as ID and unless one has citizenship it isn't possible to have a French ID card. Sometimes driving licences will be accepted but only EU ones.

Therefore a passport should be carried. Many don't like to do this but at the very least a copy or photograph of the passport should be carried.

You should ensure that passport has at least 6 months unexpired and, if not, apply for a renewal.

We do hope that the good news will continue and that members will have regard to the sanitary precautions.

Take care!

Chairman & Committee
BAV


Committee Circular N° 29 - 7 February 2021

Hello,

Whilst you may think that little is changing generally at present, apart from the closure of closed shopping centres of over 20,000 sq.m, there are a variety of matters that have changed or of which you should be aware.

Covid

Covid is still present throughout France and several of the variants have appeared in France. As a result several local schools or classes have been closed.

Masks are now required from 8 February in all public spaces (essentially everywhere outside of your home) in Dracenie Provence Verdon and Salernes. This includes the following communes:-

Ampus, Les Arcs, Bergeme, Bargemon, La Bastide, Callas, Chateaudouble, Claviers, Comps sur Artuby, Figanieres, Flayosc, Lorgues, Montferrat, Le Muy, La Roque Escalpon, Salernes, Sillans la Cascade, Taradeau, Trans en Provence, Vidauban and Saint Antonin du Var.

In addition masks are now required in St Cyr Sur Mer, Sanary Sur Mer, Bandol, Roquebrune sur Argens, Bormes Les Mimosa, La Londes Les Maures, St Zacherie and Les Adrets de l’Esterel.

Please be aware that homemade masks are now considered not to be effective and wearing one may risk receiving a penalty as for not wearing a mask.

Vaccinations

The Government announced that a further 1.7 million vaccinations will be able to be booked for the over 75 s or those with certain medical conditions. So please continue to look out for slots available through TousAntiCovid or santé.fr. Younger people will also be able to book a vaccination in the near future.

Residency

If you were resident in France before 1 January 2021 and wish to maintain residency you must apply online for a Residency Permit before 1 July 2021 and you will require the Permit before 1 October 2021.

Travel

To enter France you need a PCR test to be negative but to go to the UK you may have PCR, LAMP or antigen tests. EHIC card British people resident in France may apply for a new EHIC card as previously advised.

For visitors to France

They may continue to use their EHIC cards until the date of expiry after which (not before) they may apply for a GHIC card from http://www.nhs.uk/GHIC.

How to deal with the Covid Regime

Many of us miss the company or other members whether through the boules group, tennis group or other groups.

As advised there are several means of keeping in visual contact with others and with family through Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and Meet.Google.

All of these are free but length of use may be limited.

Furthermore this is the perfect time to take up leisure pursuits such as cookery, reading, sketching, painting or, now with the improved weather, gardening. Many activities are available online so check these out.

Please let the Committee know if you find any interesting activity websites and, think of posting on BavChat if you wish to link up with any members for similar social activities.

If not we will publicise any groups wishing to get together.

It is important to maintain some form of schedule and to keep active.

We hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer but please still look after yourselves.

Rob Flanagan

Chairman
BAV


Committee Circular N° 28 - 27 January 2021

Hello members and friends,

We hope that you are continuing to be well but there is now some further information to share with you regarding Covid but firstly, an important message about social contact.

Buddies

It can be very troubling for some people during this difficult time due to the isolation and generally very restricted ability to see friends and family. We are all missing the ´bisou’!

We have been very conscious of this for some time and early last year set up the ‘buddy’ system where we have individual members around the Var who are happy to be called, or, indeed, would welcome a call for a chat at any reasonable time.

The Committee also endeavoured to contact most members (listed in the Address Book) before Christmas in order to ensure their well-being and give Seasonal wishes.

The Buddy system has been only scarcely used so, it is our hope that the interpretation of this is that members were not in need of such contact.

However, with the continuing situation regarding Covid, now a year on, we wish to remind you that these buddies are there to receive your calls and would welcome speaking to you.

The names and telephone numbers of these buddies are at the end of the e-mailed version of this Circular.

Vaccinations

Happily many members are now eligible to have vaccinations against COVID-19 with the second vaccination being one month, or thereabouts, after. These vaccinations started around 18 January. It is expected to complete 70 millions vaccinations by the end of August 2021 with 4 million by the end of February, 9 million by the end of March, 30 millions by the end of May, 43 million by the end of June and 57 millions by the end of July.

There are websites for most things, not least your expected vaccinations waiting time which is on www.omnicalculator.com/health/queue-pour-vaccin-france#atrisk.

If you wish to be vaccinated you can obtain details on santé.fr or the TousAntiCovid App both of which give details of who is currently able to be vaccinated and telephone numbers at local centres. Alternatively you can book on Doctorlib online but so far as we are aware no further reservations are available at this time. There is also a national helpline (English and French) for appointments on 0800 009 110. Keep trying!

You do not require a prescription for the vaccination unless you have one of the conditions permitting early vaccination.

If you are one of the lucky few please do not recommence your pre Covid lifestyle immediately because the first injection gives no initial protection for 10 to 12 days and only after 3 weeks or so gives 50 - 70 percent protection. Even after the second injection there is not 100 percent protection.

Regrettably until the vast majority of the population has had vaccinations precautions will still have to be taken and this may endure well into the autumn. It is probably widely realised that having the vaccination does not protect you from getting Covid but prevents the potential serious medical consequences. Therefore, even if you have been vaccinated you can catch Covid and can infect others.

Vaccinations when travelling to the UK

If travelling to the UK from France it is necessary to provide evidence of a Covid 10 test with a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of travel. You must also provide your journey and contact (passenger locator form) details and must isolate when in the UK for 10 days. Your passport must be valid for your entire stay.

A member makes the following comments about a flight to the U.K.:-

Anyone travelling to UK should read this first.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing for people travelling to England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The details regarding types of test, and information needed, are quite detailed. For that reason an appointment was booked through DoctorLib in Cannet Des Maures on RN7.

There are several places where tests are carried out but it was wished to be 100% certain we had one which would be acceptable.

Laboratoire de biologie médicale - Eurofins - Le-Cannet-des-Maures, Laboratoire à Le Cannet-des-Maures (doctolib.fr)

The result was available the next day.

The Covid Test certificate was checked by the airline at check in.

Getting through Passport Control was long and tedious - hour and half - the e-gates were closed and every passenger had all documents examined; passport, Passenger Locator Form and negative Covid Test certificate. Several passengers were taken to one side for some reason or other.

Skiing

Regrettably it appears unlikely that the ski lifts will open before the end of February (the school holidays) although the resorts themselves are open (largely with take away food).

It is important, not just to yourself, but also to all those around you that you stay safe so please take care.

Best wishes,

Rob Flanagan

Chairman
BAV


Committee Circular N° 27 - 12 January 2021

Hello all members and friends,

You may have thought that you had heard the last of Circulars about Covid. However, the dastardly bug continues to bother us and indeed is developing so it appears to be a race against time between Covid-19 and the vaccine.

All 3 of the forerunners for production of vaccines have been approved by the EU and the EU has ordered vaccines and is organising distribution around Europe.

France has had a slow start to vaccinations but the plan now is as follows:-

From the end of December vaccinations have been proceeding initially with medical workers over the age of 50, care workers, fireman and home helps over 50 years old and Ehpad (care home) residents.

From 18 January it is proposed to give vaccines to people aged over 75 and non residents in Ehpad.

In order to book an appointment for this you can book online after 14 January through the TousAntiCovid website or on santé.fr.

The vaccinations will be extended from the end of February / start of March to people aged 65 to 74.

From the spring vaccinations will be available to people aged 50 to 64, professionals in education, catering and security.

Lastly the general population will be able to have a vaccination between March and June.

Aside from the vaccines, additional Government measures have been announced:-

The curfew will now be changed in the Var from 18.00 to 06.00 from 12 January to be in line with the Bouches du Rhône 13 (Marseille and Aix En Provence) and Alpes Maritimes 06 (Nice, Cannes etc) and 04, 05, 84 and 26 areas. In Monaco the curfew is extended to 19.00 to 06.00

The proposed reopening of theatres, museums, cinemas and cultural centres has been deferred as has the proposed reopening of ski lifts on 7 January which will now not reopen before 20 January and possibly in February.

Bars and restaurants unfortunately have also suffered further bad news in that they will not now reopen before mid February.

TousAntiCovid

With the ‘British Variant’ of the Covid-19 virus having been found in Britany, the Paris area and Marseille it is more important than ever to install the TousAntiCovid app on your smart phone as this virus is more contagious.

The App also gives a lot of information about the current situation and statistics regarding COVID-19 and it will include the application for vaccination.

This app also gives information as to where it is possible to obtain a Covid test in your area.

On the subject of tests it is normal now to have a Covid test before being admitted to hospital or having any (even minor) procedure so, if in doubt, please ask your consultant or the hospital.

Travel

Please note that travel between the UK and France is limited apart from for specific reasons (returning to principal residence etc) and negative Covid tests are required both ways not more than 72 hours before travel.

French Residency Permits

Numerous members have received notification of appointments to progress the residency permits, primarily around 21 - 26 January.

Don’t forget to take the items required:

  • Carte de Séjour
  • Passport
  • EDF bill / proof of residence less than 6 months old.
  • Photograph (advised) even if not requested!

These are generally sent by email but are not obvious having been sent from ‘Draguignan’ and not clearly identified.

Please therefore check both your emails and spam boxes as some members have discarded the message thinking it to be spam / a con!!!

Please forgive the repetition but it is more important now than ever to take the well advised precautions against contagion.

Take care.

Rob Flanagan

Chairman
BAV


Timely information 05 January 2021

Brexit, Residency, EHIC and Travel

Important websites -

Brexit :

https://www.brexit.gouv.fr/sites/brexit/accueil.html

Advice on all aspects of life in France
including Brexit, travel, S1 and Covid

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-france

Travel Advice :

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-france#passports-and-travel

Pet Travel to Europe :

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-and-from-great-britain

EHIC cards for British residents with S1 in France :

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-ehic-european-health-insurance-card/

List of Covid tests and testing centres in UK accepted in France :

https://uk.ambafrance.org/List-of-antigen-tests-authorized-for-entry-to-France-from-UK-29434

https://uk.ambafrance.org/Listes-des-tests-antigeniques-autorises-par-les-autorites-francaises-pour-l


Committee Circular N° 26 - Brexit - 1 January 2021

Hello,

We wish you a happy and healthy New Year.

At last a change of subject for this Circular.

Brexit has now come and gone and so there are many new rules and regulations about travel and residency so please refer to the government websites gov.uk/living-in-France and gouv.fr for information.

However following the official end of the UK being a member of the European Union on 31 December 2020 below is a general summary of the changes, concerning France / UK, that will take place (the situation is different for Northern Ireland and some European countries have different arrangements) :-

End of Free Circulation

A passport will continue to be required to travel to France and other EU counties (as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) from the UK but it must now have an unexpired term of more than 6 months (except travel to Ireland). In addition to this you may require a certificate of health insurance for the period of the stay. If resident in France you should, in addition to your passport, provide your Carte de Séjour, residency Certificate (or a copy of the application for one) or proof of residence.

For the French going to the UK they will be able to use a Carte D’identité up to 31 October 2021 and then a passport will be required!

British not resident in France will only be able to remain in France for 90 days in any 180 day period. A visa will be required for longer periods.

European Health Insurance Card

The EHIC card facility no longer applies to British UK residents but existing cards can continue to be used until the expiry. For British people resident in France and who benefit from a S1 certificate a free new form of EHIC card can be obtained by online application from the UK this will give medical cover across Europe according to local rights. Otherwise private medical insurance or Carte Vitale is required.

Driving

For British coming to France and visa versa the driing licenses are not recognised after 31 December 2021 and therefore it may be necessary to obtain an international driving license after 1 January 2022. Alternative arrangements may be agreed in the meantime.

For this if you are resident in France you will need to apply to Teleservice ANTS.

The following may be required :-

  • Copy of both sides of the driving license
  • Copy of Proof of identity
  • Copy of proof of residency (EDF bill etc).
  • Copy of right to stay in France (Carte de Séjour)

Transportation of Animal and Milk Products

From 1 January personal carrying of meat or milk / cheese products (even a ham and cheese sandwich!) into France is banned. Milk powder is permitted.

Animals

To travel to the UK with a cat or dog the European animal passport will not be recognised.

There is a new procedure to be put in place. To enter France from the UK it is necessary to have a certificate of good health for the animal 10 days before travel confirming that the required vaccinations are up to date.

Living in France

British living in France before 31 December 2020 wishing to reside in France must obtain a permit of residency before 30 June by online application which will be required from 1 October 2021.

For British settlers in France after 1 January 2021 a standard residency permit will be required through the Prefecture.

Mobile Roaming

The agreement to allow free ‘roaming’ allowing mobile calls throughout Europe ended on 1 January 2021.

Additional charges may therefore apply for calls between France and the UK. Please check with your operator if there will be additional charges. Many will continue to allow roaming for commercial reasons.

Customs

Customs will be established at the border points and those travelling with a British passport will need to use the Non European channel at ports and airports.

Duty Free

Duty free shopping will be available going to the UK subject to limits including 18 litres of still wine and 42 litres of beer.

Work and Moving to France

There will now be no automatic right to live or work in France.

Professional Qualifications

Professional qualifications will not now be automatically recognised for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, vets, engineers or architects among others.

And finally, our old enemy:-

Covid

Due to continuing high levels of contagion it has just been announced that theatres, cinemas, museums and cultural centres will not reopen on the 7 January as originally proposed.

In the Alpes Maritime the curfew now starts at 1800 until 0600.

Please therefore stay at home and stay safe and healthy.

Rob Flanagan

Chairman
BAV


Committee Circular N° 25 - 17 December 2020

Hello,

The Committee of the BAV will have attempted to contact you, or will do so, in order to wish you a happy Christmas and safe and healthy New Year either by telephone or email if you are overseas.

Although not much has changed since the last Circular there has been little change in respect of Covid but there are several other urgent matters mentioned below.

Covid

The introduction of the vaccine in France is still some way off and not likely to be fully implemented until the summer so it is critically important to continue vigilance against the Covid 19 virus.

It is strongly recommended to have no more than 6 people together (plus any children) in your home and recommended to ventilate rooms for 10 minutes every hour.

Please have in mind that the young are most likely to be carrying the virus without symptoms and should take care not to be in close contact with older and vulnerable people.

Please don’t forget that the precautions are:-

Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hydro-alcoholic gel or solution.

Cover the face when coughing or sneezing.

Use disposable handkerchiefs / tissues.

Use masks when in the presence of people outside the household (it is obligatory everywhere in many towns).

Keep at least 1m from others.

Skiing

Although ski resorts are open the lifts are not permitted to be open until 7 January 2021 and, in any event bars and restaurants remain closed until at least 20 January 2021 subject to lower rates of contagion (there is currently no sign of this happening!).

Restaurants

Whilst bars and restaurants are closed you may find that many provide a take away service so please continue to support your local traders particularly over Christmas. As above the reopening on 20 January 2020 is looking increasingly unlikely, but we’ll see!

EHIC card

With the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December British people other than those resident in France will no longer be able to use the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) card.

If you are British, resident in France, have received form S1 and haven’t already registered to receive the new EHIC card then you should do so as soon as possible (and it is recommended by 31 December 2020).

In order to register go to Living in France
https://www.gov.uk/world/living-in-france

where there is a paragraph about the EHIC card and a link in order to register.

If you have worked in France you may be entitled to the card from CPAM.

Otherwise if you are not resident in France you are recommended to have private health insurance.

Non Resident Visitors.

From 1 January 2021 you will only be permitted to remain in France for a maximum of 3 months without a visa and any periods spent in other European counties will be deducted from this.

Residency

If you are British and resident in France it is critical that you register your residency as soon as possible and preferably before 31 December in order to prove residency. For advice on this see the next paragraph as Voisin Voices gives advice for applying for residency.

British Government Advice

Below is a link to the Voisin Voices newsletter from the British Embassy in France which contains a host of advice. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/944221/voisin_voices_dec_2020.pdf

Customs Declaration for Packages

La Poste was in error with its earlier message. The rule regarding customs déclarations is now as follows:-

Ce mail ne concernait que les envois de petites marchandises, effectués avec des solutions courrier, et pour lesquels la déclaration doit être faite en ligne pour ne pas s´exposer à un blocage en douane : pour ceux-là le formulaire se trouve via ce lien : www.laposte.fr/formulaire-douane

Pour tous les envois Colissimo, la déclaration en douane est également obligatoire et se fait en ligne au moment de l´achat de votre étiquette. La déclaration sur le lien proposé ci-dessus n´est pas opérant.

It therefore remains for me to once again wish you a safe and happy festive period and a very healthy New Year.

Rob Flanagan

Chairman
BAV


Committee Circular N° 24 - 11 December 2020

Hello,

Unfortunately it is necessary to have a further Circular as the daily rate of contamination in France as a whole has failed to be consistently less than 5000 people per day (currently in the early teens of thousands) as previously aimed for and is substantially more and so Jean Castex has made a further announcement.

As a result there have been several important changes to the timetable for 15 December as follows:-

Cultural centres, establishments welcoming the public, sports centres theatres, cinemas and museums will remain closed for a further 3 weeks from 15 December.

The curfew due to come in on 15 December will now be from 20.00 in the evening until 06.00 (not 07.00 as previously proposed).

Contrary to previous announcements the curfew will also apply to New Year’s Eve, 31 December. It will not however apply on 24 December.

It is intended that the curfew is strictly enforced.

Attestations will no longer be required apart from during the curfew.

This will mean that people are free to travel unrestricted distances in France and so you may extend the geographical area of your shopping trips or go to the beach.

It is still recommended that no more than 6 people gather in private homes.

Domestic Refuse

On a more parochial matter for those areas that were switched to single household yellow and green wheelie bins last year, SIVED have announced that the poubelles jaunes (yellow wheelie bins) will be emptied one day earlier at Christmas & New Year, so you should put both green & yellow bins out on the (Wednesday) evening's of 23rd & 30th December.

Postage

Due to Brexit if you are posting any goods to the UK after 1 January 2020 you will need to complete a customs declaration on the following website (it will not be possible at the La Poste office:-

www.laposte.fr/formulaire-douane

This may well be the last Circular until the New Year (although Brexit may require one) and so the Committee and I wish you a very peaceful Christmas and, hopefully, a happier New Year.

Please continue to take care of yourselves as it’s still going to be a long haul!

Rob Flanagan
Chairman
BAV


Committee Circular N° 23 - 1 December 2020

Hello,

Now that the dust has settled over the recent announcement regarding the regulations relating to Covid I am setting down below the conditional timetable for the next 6 weeks.

But first, a couple of BAV notes:-

Walk in Frejus

Please note that due to the continuing confinement regulations the walk proposed in Frejus on 5 December is CANCELLED.

Carol Service

With Christmas coming up and due to limitations of 30 people attending religious meetings we have been asked to draw your attention that St John's Carol Service on 20 December at 17.00 is limited to 30 people so it will be by ticket admission only. Contact Revd Tom Wilson for tickets: 04 94 52 07 27 or tomwilson@gmail.com.

 

Calendar of Deconfinement

The proposed calendar of deconfinement is subject to review on 15 December and 20 January, if new cases of Covid are not less than 5000 daily (it is currently 4000, having stubbornly been around 9000 - 13000), and is as follows:-

 

Restrictions from 28 November

Attestations will continue be required for any period away from home.

Individual sport / exercise can be carried out up to 20km from home as the crow fies for up to 3 hours. Apparently ‘individual’ exercise includes singles tennis and a golfing foursome (for not more than 3 hours!!).

This distance is not to be confused with general travel which is still restricted by the reasons permitted by the Attestation.

Shops have reopened as have libraries, book shops, hairdressers, and driving schools.

Shops will be permitted to open on Sundays in December.

Home services / domestic help have restarted.

Estate agents can carry out viewings.

Religious centres have reopened for up to no more than 30 people.

 

Restrictions from 15 December

Subject to levels of infection being less than 5000 per day:-

Attestations will no longer be required.

The curfew will again be imposed 21.00 to 07.00 (it was until 06.00).

The curfew continues except 24 and 31 December.

Cinemas, museums, theatres and show rooms will reopen subject to strict sanitary precautions.

Travel will be permitted between regions of France.

Ski resorts can reopen but the ski lifts will not be permitted (skiing will therefore be particularly hard work). This is subject to continuing discussion as lifts may open on 1 January if agreed.

 

Restrictions from 20 January

Once again, subject to low levels of infection (less than 5000 per day):-

Bars and restaurants may reopen.

Sports centres will reopen.

Ski lifts will reopen.

Concert halls can reopen.

 

Travel from UK to France

A negative Covid test taken less than 72 hours before entering France is mandatory to enter France and the Attestation (until 15 December) will be required on arrival.

Apparently, in ports and airports rapid Covid tests will be deployed for all arrivals.

 

Mobile Testing

There will be mobile testing 09.00 - 12.00 and 13.30 - 16.30 on 4 December at Stade des Retraches, Le Luc En Provence and 5 December at Place Clemenceau, Brignoles.

 

Vaccines

There is no specific news about the availability of the vaccine and so it is important that you continue to adhere to the protocols that have so far been adopted. However, it would appear that the vaccine is proposed to be given in several phases largely between April and June for the majority of people.

Phase 1 to nursing home residents and ‘at risk’ staff.

Phase 2 to people over 75 and those vulnerable people over 65 together with health workers.

Phase 3 to over 50s and vulnerable people over 40.

Phase 4 to workers working with the public and other vulnerable people.

Phase 5 to people over 18.

 

We have, as a result of the Circulars, received a regular flow of questions from members and we are happy to continue to receive these. We will use every effort to answer questions promptly but may have to admit to not knowing the answer to everything. We are, after all, volunteers, and rely on information from Government sources.

It is suggested that, for information on specific subjects, you refer to the websites for the British and French Government (gov.co.uk or gouv.fr).

The Committee and I wish you a very happy and safe festive period.

Rob Flanagan
Chairman
BAV


Committee Circular N° 22 - 26 November 2020

Hello,

I hope that you are all continuing to stay safe and well and are adhering to the regulations (after all, it’s difficult not to if you can’t go out!).

Despite the prospect of vaccines being available please continue to take precautions.

Please do not forget that the alcohol gel should have at least 70% alcohol to be effective. You should not rely on gels with less alcohol as these will give little or no protection.

However the confinement does appear to be working as, at the 7 November there were nearly 87000 daily cases noted whereas this has reduced to about 9100 with an R rate of 0.65.

Président Macron has again given a report on the progress but regrettably there will not be major changes to the current confinement for 3 more weeks.

The principle points are:-

The confinement will continue with the continued need for those Attestations to be completed each time that you leave the house conditionally until 15 December, if conditions continue to improve.


We would then be able to travel between regions (currently banned).


Then we will continue to be subject to a curfew between 21.00 and 07.00 except for 24 and 31 December.

The TousAntiCovid App appears to be the best solution to complete the Attestation as it remembers all of your details and you simply have to tick the reason for going out.

It will now be possible to go out for physical activity / exercise for up to 3 hours to a limit of 20km from home.

Bars and discotheques will remain closed.

Restaurants will not reopen until 20 January and only if daily new cases of Covid stay less than 5000.

Sports centres also will reopen on 20 January.

General small shops are able to open from Saturday until 21.00 and will be subject to sanitary controls.

Ski resorts will not be able to open until at least the beginning of January.

What to do if you have Covid symptoms.

If you have been tested positive, have been contacted as having been in contact with a person who is positive, or simply wish to know how to proceed if concerned that you might have the virus, there is a website, MesConseilsCovid, which is available through the Ministère des Solidarités et de la Santé, where you may obtain advice in 3 minutes as to how to proceed, according to your situation and health.

In order to do this you go to the website and complete the questionnaire, giving the state of health, your symptoms, your recent contacts, the results of any Covid test (if taken), details of anybody else in the household, and your medical state. At the end of the questionnaire you will have access to personal advice eg. to isolate, take a test or consult a doctor.

If you are ill you may be asked to fill in an online questionnaire once or twice a day. It will help to determine the period of incubation and development of the illness.

Covid vaccines

As you may have heard there are now several vaccines that have been developed with varying effectiveness and conditions of application and storage. These are still subject to the approval processes.

The French Government has 3 contracts with pharmaceutical companies signed, with 3 others under negotiation, and others under discussion. The contracts are for an average of 30 million doses per contract.

In addition, the EU is about to sign a contract with Moderna for 160 million doses.

It is expected that the vaccine will be available for the most vulnerable people at the end of December / beginning of January, with a further supply in the spring.

Flu vaccines

You are highly recommended to have the flu vaccine, so if you haven’t received your prescription from CPAM, please see your doctor. However, as indicated previously, the vaccine is in short supply due to demand so you may have to shop around at different pharmacies.

Neighbourhood networks

Several of the Neighbourhood Network coordinators are now proposing virtual NNs due to the confinement, usually using Zoom. Indeed the Villecroze NN has just taken place and was attended by 9 members.

It worked very well, with a variety of local information being exchanged. It was certainly good to catch up with friends who had not been seen for a while.

The best aspect of having a meeting in this way (apart from not having to buy coffee), is that it allows members who are not in the Var to attend. They could, of course, be on a beach in the Caribbean or anywhere in the world.

Chimney sweeping

It’s that time of year when the evenings are getting cold (at least inland in the Var), so we might resort to lighting a fire.

Please do not forget that it is a legal obligation to have all chimneys swept by the ramoneur (chimney sweep) who, on completion, should give a signed receipt that should be retained as evidence of cleaning.

An alternative is to use proprietary cleaning products but please verify the effectiveness (they do not, clearly, determine if a chimney is blocked or partly blocked).

We will continue to keep you updated on latest developments regarding Covid, but please also refer to your newsletters and the website baofthevar.com.

You may wish to share this information with non member friends, in which case please don’t forget to let them know that, for the time being, there is no membership fee !!

Please take care!

Rob Flanagan
Chairman
BAV


Committee Circular N° 21 - 13 November 2020

Hello again,

We are now getting very used to the confinement’s coming and going and hopefully are adjusting to the restrictions.

In the same way, these Circulars continue to update you. As with the Guardian newspaper many years ago I put in deliberate typos each time to give some interest to the script!

Once again gardens are getting a lot of attention and spruced up for winter.

But, just as you think that you know where we are the politicians make a further announcement. This week is no different.

There have been very few major changes but below is a summary of the main points.

The confinement will continue until at least 1 December subject to further review.

Shops may be able to reopen from 1 December but that is unlikely for bars and restaurants.

Fêtes are not recommended for the new year celebrations.

The current attestations for movement outside the house will still be likely to be necessary after 1 December.

Please don’t forget that when you go out and use an Attestation you are required to also carry some ID and also if you are attending a medical appointment you will need the appointment card or document. Furthermore, it is obligatory to fill out paper versions of the Attestation in ink and not change or erase the information that you give.
Digital versions of the Attestation on smartphones are also still valid, if you prefer not to use paper and ink.

Other than that children over 6 in age now are required to wear a mask.

Some recent research has shown that you can wash the single use masks up to 10 times, that is, if they don’t fall apart!

If you have the symptoms of Covid 19, have been in contact with a person with the illness or think that you are asymptomatic and have the virus you can find places to be tested thanks to an interactive map proposed by the Minister of Solidarités et de la Santé.

Details of the test can be found on the sites:
https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus/tests-et-depistage

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/actualites/A14195

Les tests virologiques (RT-PCR).

The test is without need of a prescription and without cost. The tests are open to all but the Minister of Solidarités et de la Santé requests that priority is given to people with symptoms, having had contact with a person that is positive or health workers.

You can find your local test centre on la carte DepistageCovid
https://sante.fr/recherche/trouver/DepistageCovid

by using your post code or the name of your town or village.

The Committee is here to support you and so, if you need any assistance or, indeed, you know of non-members in need of assistance please contact any of the Committee.

Please feel free to pass on copies of these Circulars, or indeed, the newsletters to non-members.

There is a lot of information on this BAV website www.baofthevar.com including recent information regarding the new EHIC medical insurance card.

If you are aware of any members who have had Covid or have tested positive please let us know. At present, we understand that, thankfully, no members have been affected.

Please continue to look after yourselves.

Rob Flanagan
Chairman


Timely information 10 November 2020

Living in France - Healthcare

At the time of writing there is an update to the UK Government website "Living In France" that is yet to published on the site. It might be there by the time you read this.

If you have an S1 or EH 121 then your healthcare will continue in France paid by the UK. You may have used your S1 to get a Carte Vitale. However if you want cover whilst travelling in Europe or access to NHS in the UK you need a new EHIC from 1 January 2021. Application is now available on the NHS site. However you must have registered your S1 or EH 121.


Committee Circular N° 20 - 3 November 2020

It’s good to hear from some members that they appreciate being kept up to date with current events through these Circulars.

If you wish to see past Circulars these are available on the BAV website www.baofthevar.com together with photographs of events at happier times.

During the period of confinement it is essential to maintain a positive attitude and try to continue life as close to normal as possible and adopt the usual routines. After all we had a longer confinement in the spring and came safely out the other end.

Activities

With the additional time available why not refresh your skills - playing musical instruments, cookery, needlecraft etc.

Mim Kaye has recently given details of a painting option on BavChat and suggested looking at www.mims-easyart.com.

Do take advantage of the ability to go out to take some fresh air and for a walk of up to 1 km for an hour. It need not just be 1km - you could go in more than one direction or take a circular route and achieve about 4km!

If you are unsure of the limits of 1km radius you can verify this area on the website www.geoportail.gouv.fr.

We, of course, are lucky to live with generally a wonderful climate to take advantage of.

Social Contact

Take the opportunity to contact friends and family or BAV members that you may think lack contact. There are numerous ways these days of making visual social contact.

Why not coordinate your food shopping with friends to meet up at the supermarket (whilst maintaining social distancing).

If necessary contact our Welfare team to obtain details of our telephone buddies.

Please do not forget to complete your Attestation for any movements outside of your house. Although not clear, the second box is for shopping. You may also cross several boxes if you are venturing out for several reasons.

Mask Wearing

Please note that it is now obligatory to wear masks outside the home in many towns and villages including Toulon, Frejus, St Raphael, Roquebrune, Draguignan, Saint-Tropez, Ramatuelle, Grimaud, Brignoles, Cavalaire-sur-mer, Sainte-Maxime, Plan de la Tour and le Rayol-Canadel.

Please check with your Mairie if wearing a mask is required. It is also obligatory in the whole of the Bouche Du Rhône (Marseille and Aix En Provence) area.

Remembrance / Poppy Day

It is Remembrance Day on 11 November. If you are missing the availability of poppies through BAV this year the Nice branch of the Royal British Legion can be contacted directly.

If you want to order Poppies by Post you can do so by email to Commander Michael Healy at mhealy@orange.fr

In addition there are lots of ways you can support our Armed Forces community and get involved in this year's poppy appeal. Traditional poppies are available at the Royal British Legion Poppy Shop. You can visit the Royal British Legion website to donate and you’ll receive a downloadable poppy to display in your window.

Shopping

During this confinement there is a greater range of shops open and take away foods available but the larger supermarkets have been told to not sell non essential goods.

There are still many businesses, particularly in financial services and insurance that are remaining open. Details of several of these can be found in our newsletter. Don’t forget that many shops offer home delivery or click and collect (not just food outlets).

Over the next few months it is importance to maintain our health, positivity and good spirits so please take good care of yourselves, comply with the regulations and take daily exercise if at all possible.

Take care!

Rob Flanagan
BAV Chairman.


Committee Circular N° 19 - 30 October 2020

It’s a fast moving world, and this is certainly the case with the Covid virus. Having only just issued Circular 18 we are now on to 19! It seems regrettably that this will not be the end of it. As predicted we are now well into the second wave of the virus.

Président Macron gave a speech on Wednesday evening when, due to the uncontrolled advance of Covid and limited capacity in hospitals it has now been necessary to reintroduce confinement fundamentally as in the spring.

Confinement

This is national confinement and commenced at midnight 29 October and will last until 1 December.

Restaurants will be closed totally as will all non essential shops (this will be reviewed in 2 weeks).

Parks, beaches and gardens will remain open as will food shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, laundries, banks, vehicle repair garages, tabacs, DIY stores, opticians and computer shops.

Florists will be open 30 October to 1 November.

Administrative offices and medical establishments will also remain open.

All public gatherings are banned. Ehpad care homes will still remain open to visitors.

Attestation

The attestation is available on line at TousAntiCovid on :

www.interieur.gouvernement.fr

https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Attestations-de-deplacement

via France Bleu as well as certain newspapers such as Var Matin or by telephoning 0800 130 000.

As with the earlier confinement there are specific reasons required in order to leave your home and there are fines for non compliance.

These are:-

To accompany a child to or return from school.

To walk or take the air outside for not more than an hour or more than 1km from home.

To go to work.

For medical reasons.

For handicapped people.

For important family reasons or to look after vulnerable people.

For essential shopping.

For judicial reasons or on public service.

Travel

Inter regional travel will be prohibited but there will be a tolerance at the weekend of Toussaint (31 October and 1 November) for holiday travel.

All frontiers between Europe and other countries will be closed.

Internally in Europe travellers will have to prove that they do not have Covid by having tested within 72 hours of travel and Covid testing should be made available at airports.

Covid Tests

It is hoped that faster Covid tests will be available soon with the results available in less than 30 minutes. At present results take 12 to 24 hours.

TousantiCovid

Please do not forget to install this TousantiCovid application on your smart phone as this enables tracking and tracing of contacts once there has been a positive test.

As Chairman, I hope that our regular updates are of interest to you and assist you. The Committee remains concerned about your welfare, so please take care of yourselves and live within the restraints.

During the last confinement we heard of several cases of people receiving fines for not having Attestations even for the shortest of trips. Don’t let this be you!

We continue to have our telephone buddy system and our Welfare team is always ready to assist you.

Take care!

Rob Flanagan
Chairman

 


Committee Circular N° 18 - 27 October 2020

Hello,

As chairman I initiated these Committee Circulars in March and have written each of them in the expectation that they would not be required after a relatively short period in the view that, whilst Covid would be around well into next year, it would be under some form of control.

How wrong can you be! The Governments of both the UK and France have constantly been changing the regulations according to the geographical intensely of the virus. As such it has been increasingly difficult to keep up with the prevailing regulations hence the need for the Circulars.

The Circular itself has been necessary in order to give factual, prompt information which cannot wait for the newsletter which is firstly monthly and, in addition, goes to press 2 weeks before issue. Thank you to Peter Holdway and Joe Bishop for sending the Circulars out.

The Latest Situation

With over 50000 cases of Covid registered per day and 1.14 million cases this year it is essential to follow the regulations and take every possible precaution.

To summarize the latest situation, the Var is now in a group of 54 Departments which are under curfew (couvre-feu) with no movements permitted outside the home between 21.00 and 06.00. There are exceptions to this which require an Attestation to be completed which can be downloaded in French or in English.

French PDF version

French Plain Text version

French Docx version

English Docx version

Download page (all versions, including for professionals)

Failure to present an Attestation will mean a fine of between 135€ and 3750€ depending on failure to pay or repeated offenses.

The exceptions are:-

  • Movement between home and work
  • Travel for medical appointments or purchase of care / health items.
  • Movement for important family reasons, care of vulnerable people or child care.
  • Movements by handicapped people and their carers
  • Movement for judicial reasons
  • Movement for official administrative reasons
  • Long distance travel
  • Animal walking within 1 km of the home.

The following are closed from 21.00 to 06.00:-

  • Restaurants (make sure that you allow time to get home!).
  • Shops and shopping centres
  • Specialist artistic teaching centres
  • Cult centres
  • Teaching establishments

The following are closed all day:-

  • Bars (tabacs can remain open).
  • Covered sports centres with the exception of educational sport for minors.
  • Swimming pools except for school groups.
  • Fun fairs
  • Gaming centres

Flights

If you are planning to fly between the UK and France or visa versa please be aware that at the present time many flights are bring cancelled by EasyJet, British Airways and Ryanair, often at only a couple of days notice, so please be flexible in your travel plans.

Returning to France from the UK?

Please note that if you are returning to France according to the British Government travel advice you are required to make a Declaration as follows:-

Arrivals by sea and air routes will need to complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight.

It’s therefore up to all of us to do our bit in order to avoid contamination. It’s advisable to adopt a form of self confinement and limit unnecessary journeys.

By now, hopefully, we know all the usual precautions. So please take care and we look forward to seeing you at the BAV events when possible.


Committee Circular N° 17 - 22 October 2020

Hello,

It would appear that you will still have to endure these interim Circulars while the Covid situation continues to evolve.

Stop Covid

It is important for tracking and tracing that the Stop Covid App is downloaded onto your smartphone. As anticipated the original Stop Covid App was upgraded on 22 October and it is now called « TousAntiCovid ».

If you have already downloaded the Stop Covid App you need take no action as the change will be made automatically. However, if you have not then we would recommend that you do so as It is essentially a tool that allows you to be alerted if you have been in proximity of someone who then tests positive with Covid.

The Var Under Curfew

On 22 October it was announced that the Var is amongst many other areas of the country that have been included for curfew (from Midnight on Friday) which will be between 21.00 and 06.00.

Travel during these hours will require an attestation for reasons similar to those during the earlier confinement and, as with then, travel without an Attestation will incur a substantial fine.

We also are restricted to a maximum of groups of 6 outdoors in public places, although in one’s home it is a recommendation.

In addition (from Friday midnight) we will be under the same regulations relating to Paris and Marseille / Aix for 6 weeks from 17 October in that all bars, sporting establishments, games rooms,fairs and exhibitions will be closed all day.

Residency Documents

For those of you that have resisted obtaining a Carte De Séjour your time has come, as also for all British residents in France, to register for residency in France. To obtain this go to contacts-démarche.interieur.gouv.fr or search French residency portal.

The form has been designed to be very easy to complete, particularly if you already hold a Carte de Séjour, but you will need to upload one or more documents and all of the information required is on the website.

At a recent meeting with the British Ambassador we were advised that if you feel incapable of completing the form you should be able to go directly to the Prefecture where they should help you. However this hasn’t yet been tested and they may not know this!

Otherwise our kind welfare team will assist you over the internet or by telephone. There is no rush as the application is required to be made before 1 July 2021 by all British settled in France before 31 December 2020. But be aware, that it may be that if you leave it until the last minute the authorities may wish you to prove that you haven’t just popped over the channel to obtain residency.

If you hold dual nationality including French you can still apply for residency if you wish to do so but it is not essential.

And finally, please do continue to take care. Try to know who you are associating with, and meeting internet dates is not recommended! Use masks, gel frequently and wash your hands as often as possible, and keep your distance from others.


Committee Circular N° 16 - 26 September 2020

Hello,

There are a couple of important matters to report.

French Residency

Firstly, do not worry if you haven’t seen anything documented about the new Carte de Séjour / French residency website because it has just be reported by the British Embassy that it has been delayed several weeks. Below is a link to see a report of this by the British Ambassador.

https://www.facebook.com/ukinfrance/videos/vb.141648805863133/2629107797401796/?type=2&theater

Covid 19

The second issue is regarding the fight against Covid 19. France has now been further divided into areas of high alert and maximum risk.

The areas of high alert are fundamentally the large towns including, in the south, Grenoble, Nice and Montpellier.

In these areas there can be no gatherings of more than 1000 people (with Préfectoral consent).

Fêtes cannot be held.

There is a restriction of not more than 10 persons in a public space including beaches and parks.

Bars must close at 22.00 or earlier if the Prefet decides from 28 September.

Sports centres and gymnasiums will be closed.

Multi activity centres (used by Associations) will be closed.

In the latter category in Marseille and Aix En Provence all bars and restaurants are to be closed from 26 September. Equally, cinemas, theaters etc are to be closed.

There is a lot of resistance to this by Maires for economic reasons so this may change!

Best wishes.


Committee Circular N° 15 - 16 September 2020

Dear Member,

With the recent increase in Covid cases throughout France and the changing rules in different Prefectures it becomes more difficult to organise Events.

In particular, inside events are difficult to organise as

a) we need to ensure social distancing and

b) it is unfair to book restaurants and then cancel due to low numbers or a change in the local regulations.

We have therefore, unfortunately, taken the decision to cancel all indoor events until further notice. This means that the November quiz and the December lunch will not now take place.

However, we will continue to organise outdoor events so that people can continue to socialise “at a distance”. The Les Arc walk will therefore go ahead and we are looking to organise a “walk along the prom” in early December, with people organising their own lunch should they wish to do so.

We are sure that you will understand the logic behind this decision and hope to see you at one of the outdoor events in the glorious Var sunshine.

The statistics for the progress of Covid in France are interesting but certainly very confusing and potentially very worrying. The number of daily cases detected has risen well above the peak of March / April, however, the hospitalisations and particularly the deaths are diminishing or stable. The are however notes le hotspots. It should be noted that France includes deaths in care homes.

Jean Castex, the new Prime Minister made an announcement last Friday evening. Happily it is not proposed to reimpose a general confinement and the quarantine period has been reduced from 14 days to 7 days, in the event of suspicion or confirmation of contraction and for those in contact.

Aged people are advised to be extra cautious in the immediate future.

In the Var the geographical areas of greatest concern are Hyères, La Crau, La Valette, La Garde, Le Pradet, Six Fours, Ollioulles and St Mandrier. Outside of the Var the area of intense concern is the Bouche Du Rhône (Marseille and Aix En Provence) followed by La Gironde and Bordeaux. It has been announced that, once again, groups on beaches and parks are limited to 10 people in the Marseille area.

The conclusion therefore is to remain vigilant and take the now normal hygiene precautions.

Please remember the symptoms which are:-

Most common symptoms:

  • fever
  • dry cough
  • tiredness

Less common symptoms:

  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • diarrhoea
  • conjunctivitis
  • headache
  • loss of taste or smell
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

Serious symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest pain or pressure
  • loss of speech or movement

Please therefore look after yourselves and in particular, take care!

PS:

Saint Johns Church in Saint Raphael will be holding a memorial concert and prayer for peace to commemorate 75 years since the end of World War II at 18h.00 on Friday 18 September


Committee Circular N° 14 - 21 July 2020

Dear BAV member,

We couldn’t finish the Circulars on number 13 so the Government kindly changed the Covid 19 regulations in order to able us to bring out a 14th edition!

In essence, as we have regularly recommended, it is necessary to wear a mask outside your home in numerous circumstances.

It is also highly desirable to download the Covid 19 App which is available for Apple and Android which advises if you have been in contact with a carrier of Covid within a mètre and for more than 15 minutes. In which case you should self isolate for 10 days.

The French version of the list of places where wearing a mask is obligatory and subject to a 135€ fine if not complied with is below but a rough translation is:

Restaurants and drinking establishments.

Theatres, conference halls, meeting rooms and cinemas.

Hotels and guest houses.

Games centres Teaching centres, study centres, holiday centres, leisure centres etc.

Libraries and archives.

Religious establishments.

Covered sports establishments.

Museums.

Open air establishments.

Marquées and tents.

High altitude hotels and restaurants.

Floating establishments.

Mountain refuges.

Bus stations, train stations, ports and airports.

Public transport of all forms.

The virus is still worryingly prevalent and there are several hot spots in France, not least PACA. This concern is clearly not helped by the large influx in the Var of other nationals and the French from the north.

The much talked about R factor which is the ratio of transmission of the virus has increased notably in the PACA area and has reached 1.55 (a state of alert) meaning that a person with Covid will, on average, transmit it to 1.55 other people. The figure in Brittany is now a worrying 2.62.

A figure of over 3 is classed as an epidemic.

Please therefore continue to take the precautions. Wash hands; use hand gel, wear a mask and keep your distance! This should safeguard you until, hopefully a vaccine is developed and distributed.


Committee Circular N° 13 - 1 July 2020

Dear BAV member,

Good news

The good news is that significant progress is being made in the fight against Covid 19.

However, the risk remains and the usual precautions still are extremely important. This is particularly the case in view of the numbers of visitors to the area.

Masks and gel are now widely available at a modest cost. Please also endeavour to only frequent establishments that adopt the precautions.

Further Deconfinement

The restrictions from 22 June are being lifted in certain cases.

You will no doubt be delighted that casinos can now reopen but also cinemas and gymnasiums.

However discothèques will have to wait until some time in September.

Sports stadiums (stadia?) with a capacity of up to 5000 people will not open until 11 July.

Brexit / Carte de Séjour

The date for the registration to register residency in France has now been postponed from 1 July to 1 October and you will have until 30 June 2021 to register.

It should be simpler for those with Cartes de Séjour.

This is essential if you wish to remain in France.


Please have a very pleasant summer and stay local enjoying what we have around us.


Committee Circular N° 12 - 11 June 2020

Dear BAV member,

Deconfinement not ´No Covid’!

Please do not confuse deconfinement with it meaning that there is no risk from Covid 19 as the risk is possibly greater now that people are going out and about and socialising.

Furthermore, as we are entering the holiday season there is starting to be a sizable influx of people from outside the Var from the higher risk Paris area and from other countries.

The precautions are still critically important, particularly in relation to hand washing, wearing a mask and social distancing.

Covid Tracking

Over 1 million people have now downloaded this App.

The tracking device StopCovid has been available now for over a week and is simple to install being in English. This notifies you of any contact you may have had with a person who has been found to have Covid 19 and who has been within a metre for more than 15 minutes.

If you are informed that this is the case you should contact your doctor for a prescription to be tested at one of the 3000 testing stations. In addition there are some testing points (certainly in Brignoles) where it is possible to have a blood test for the anti bodies for a fee of 15€.

For this to work effectively it is necessary for as many people as possible to download the App.

Here are the links (use your phone to connect):

Download for Android Phones - Play Store https://t.co/eDWyj8yrFE

Download for iPhones - App Store https://t.co/4pl2iu29EF

Bars and Restaurants

There are still many bars and restaurants that have not opened as they are unable to accommodate the hygiene precautions.

At bars it is still not permitted to stand at the counter and tables in bars and restaurants have to be placed at a minimum distance from each other.

Cleansing gel is required to be available and masks must be worn by staff and also by clients when not at tables.

Toilets

As our mothers used to say when we were children - ´go to the toilet before you go out’.

Never has this adage been more appropriate than now as many toilets, both public and private are closed due to Covid.

This certainly applies to many shops.

International Travel

Travel is allowed internationally from 15 June without the Attestation, but quarantine will be required in either the UK or France for 15 days depending on direction of travel.

In the case of returning to the UK an attestation (yes, another!) / quarantine form is available from www.gov.uk and needs to be submitted 48 hours before entering the UK.

Whilst the quarantine in the UK is obligatory and there is a £1000 fine for non compliance, in France the quarantine is voluntary.

Sales

Because of Covid the sales have been postponed until 15 July and will last for only 4 weeks.

Welfare

Once again we are able to assist if everybody is in need of assistance.

It is often human nature not to seek assistance and so, if you are aware of anybody who is in need please contact our Welfare Team.

Once again please take care.
There is a reducing number of cases in France and very few new cases in the Var so please take precautions to ensure that this progress continues.


Committee Circular N° 11 - 2 June 2020

Dear BAV member,

We may not send out another weekly Circular next week unless the present deconfinement regulations change materially.


Deconfinement Phase 2

You will no doubt be disappointed that the deconfinement hasn’t ended for some activities and that night clubs (Boîtes de Nuit) will not be able to open until at least 21 June!

However most activities are now able to continue. There are though many restrictions that remain particularly regarding social distancing at bars and restaurants. Also masks remain necessary in most cases.

A maximum gathering of 10 persons still applies in public spaces. Please see below for the schedule of deconfinement.

Stop Covid App

The tracking device Stop Covid App was available from 2 June from AppStore (Apple) or PlayStore (Android) in order to be able to find out if you have passed close to a carrier of Covid 19 for a period.

La Poste

All La Poste offices should now be open.

Generally

Please continue to take care and adopt social distancing, washing hands and the wearing of masks.

Look after yourselves!

 

Schedule of Deconfinement

 


Committee Circular N° 10 - 28 May 2020

Dear BAV member,

Well, we’ve reached the 10th weekly Circular! Normal life is generally improving although under the guise of the ‘new normal’. Certainly there is the usual amount of cars on the roads.

If you are feeling stressed watch this short video of the Gorges du Verdon and all will be right with the world:

https://www.facebook.com/StampedMagazine/videos/242055319840622/?vh=e.

Deconfinement Phase 2

Edouard Philippe has announced today, Thursday, the following:-

Referring to the map of France dividing the country into zones of red or green, this has changed to all green with the exception of the Île de France (Paris).

In the rest of France (the green area) the 100 km travel restriction will no longer apply from 2 June.

The StopCovid app will be available to everybody on 2 June.

Frontier restrictions will be lifted on 15 June.

Subject to restrictions bars and restaurants can open on 2 June as can parks, gardens, swimming pools, gyms, sports centres and camp sites.

Museums and monuments will also be open but masks will be required.

Cinemas can open from 22 June.

In every case conditions may apply.

The Préfecture of the Var has now announced that it is allowing the opening of lakes, zoos and museums from 2 June subject to the now usual sanitary measures.

If travelling around you should ensure that you have a mask with you as, not only do certain shops insist on you wearing one before entering, but certain villages such as La Garde Freinet require you to wear one in the streets.

International Travel

The French Government announced last weekend that people arriving from the UK and Spain into France will need to self quarantine for 14 days after 8 June (Spain from 25 May).
This is the reciprocal arrangement to those going from France to the UK who are also required to self quarantine.

The number of beaches open for normal (not dynamic) use continues to increase but all have different rules. The Maire of Ramatuelle has even closed a beach a few days after opening due to heavy use last weekend. This will all change on 2 June.

Please continue to take precautions as the virus is going to be around for a long time. We are though happy not to have heard of any contagion amongst members.

Best wishes


Committee Circular N° 9 - 21 May 2020

Dear BAV member,

Community Awards

Last week we asked if any member wishes us to recognise and reward a local person whether a member, or not, or, indeed, a local organisation for going ‘above and beyond’ during the confinement period and to advise us by writing to chairman@baofthevar.com and robertmflanagan@hotmail.com. Surprisingly we haven’t received any response. It may simply be a phone buddy or someone assisting with shopping or maintaining regular contact so please let us know if there are any suitable candidates as soon as possible.

Covid 19

Thankfully there is significant positive progress being made in the deconfinement. For example, it is now proposed that restaurants, bars etc in the Green Zone (most of France except the north east) may open on 2 June. They will however be required to follow the precautionary and hygiene rules. We will have to see how that pans out.

Certainly the rules change from town to town and place to place as, in some, you are required to wear a mask. The one in - one out rule applies to many establishments. Those living in France are now being encouraged to holiday in France in July and August. It is particularly frustrating to locals then that, even now, there is an increasing number of non French cars on the roads, thereby potentially increasing the risk to residents here.

Beaches

And now what you’ve been waiting for! - Several beaches have now been reopened but this appears to be hit and miss and you must still respect the regulations (not more than 10 in a group etc.).

Do not assume that your favorite beach is open! A map of the beaches to open or opening is below. This is not definitive but is as reported by Var Matin. Some are now open, others open 23 May or 1 June!

Click for a larger version
CLICK THE PHOTO FOR A LARGER VERSION (opens in a new window)

Note however that it is only possible to have ‘dynamic’ use of beaches and it is not permitted to sun bathe or picnic on beaches. This is however not the case in some areas depending on the order of the local Mairie. There is a similar situation with parks with some now open and some opening on 2 June.

Further positive news is that Italy is opening it’s borders to European counties from 3 June. The French however have yet to reciprocate. A decision is awaited.

100km Travel

There seems to be confusion over the requirement to have an Attestation to travel more than 100km in that the Attestation states that it is for Travelling Outside of Your Department and more than 100km.

To travel from Montauroux to Grasse do you need an Attestation? No - You need an Attestation if you are travelling more than 100km and leaving your department.

Similarly, the Attestation permits travel for ‘familial impérieux’ reasons. There appears to be a requirement to also have a doctor’s prescription for this purpose but, again, this has not been clarified.

As previously stated, the 100km is as the crow flies and therefore although your gps may say that Marseille and Nice are more than 100km by road (from the Haut Var at least) they are within limits.

The proof of address required is by way of telephone bill, electricity, gas or water bill, property lease, tax notice, taxe d’habitation bill, insurance attestation for car or property, the carte grise or CAF statement. Strangely, having a driving license is not stated.

Professionals travelling more than 100 km do not need to re-complete the Attestation daily.

Covid Symptoms

In addition to the previously notified symptoms of Covid 19 (mainly a dry cough and fatigue) it has now been accepted (eventually) that an early symptom is a loss of taste or smell.

Please continue to be cautious and take care. Don’t forget that you cannot rely on a mask to prevent you from catching the virus as they prevent the emission of the virus only. Social distancing and remaining at home is more effective.

Take care!


Committee Circular N° 8 - 15 May 2020

Dear BAV member,

This may well be the last of the weekly mid-week circulars as matters appear to have settled down for the time being and we may reduce to fortnightly. Please though, stay safe and don’t change this protective environment. Please also do not forget that we are here for you as are your ‘phone buddies’.

Community Awards

If any member wishes us to recognise and reward a local person whether a member, or not, or, indeed, a local organisation for going ‘above and beyond’ during the confinement period please let us know by writing to chairman@baofthevar.com.

Deconfinement

As for the deconfinement, the following points were announced on 7 May.
The map of deconfinement in France has been changed as below.

The revised rules are:-

Masks must be worn on public transport with a fine of 135€ if not worn.

There will be no deconfinement for ‘vulnerable’ people - the elderly and those with certain medical conditions.

There will be no groups of 10 or more people allowed.

Beaches and lakes will be reopened on a case by case basis and determined by the Prefet.

Weddings are not permitted and funerals will be permitted with no more than 20 attendees.

Large shopping centres (over 40000 sq m) can be reopened as decided by the Prefet.

Bars and restaurants will remain closed until at least the end of May / beginning of June.

An Attestation is required to travel more than 100km as the crow flies (vol d’oiseau!) and if you leave the Département where you live. The new Attestation in paper or numeric is available on https://t.co/XIUoU5gEUY.
You are able to see the extent of 100km by inserting your address on https://carte-sortie-confinement.fr/.
Some official form of proof of identity with your address such as Carte D’Identité or Carte Grise, EDF bill etc is required to be carried.

The restrictions on travel in Europe will continue meaning that travel other than to your principal private residence will be prevented until at least 15 June.

2 June is the start of the second stage of deconfinement.

Some Thoughts of The Future?

Well, we may be released partially from confinement but has life really changed? - probably not.

Will the French habit of multiple ‘bisous’ (depending on area of France) and handshakes disappear?

Friends and family may now feature more importantly in our lives.

We will be less materialistic. We are probably not likely to socialise in large (or even small) groups for some time.

Those working from home are likely to continue to do so unless it’s necessary to meet the public.

Those that have adapted to ´Drive’ shopping or home deliveries are likely to continue.

Holidays may mean exploring France rather than travelling to far flung foreign climes.

More meetings are going to be held via video conferencing resulting in less business air miles.

The car will remain in the drive more than ever.

Pollution and carbon emissions will have reduced substantially.

Will Heathrow airport need a new runway extension?

Please do not forget to remain cautious. The virus has not gone away so stay safe and enjoy what you have.

Best wishes from the Committee.