King Charles III is visiting France, how to get a Covid booster this autumn, and falling petrol prices, plus don’t miss our latest Moving to France webinar. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. Autumn Covid vaccines
France’s health minister, Aurélien Rousseau, laid out plans for the country’s Covid-19 boosters over the weekend. In the wake of rising case numbers and a new variant making the rounds, the latest booster vaccines will now be made available earlier than expected, with high-risk groups able to receive boosters from the beginning of October (two weeks earlier than initially planned).
From October 2nd, all French residents over the age of 65 are encouraged to receive the booster, along with high-risk individuals, including pregnant women, those with obesity, diabetes, or chronic health conditions, health workers and caregivers, and the unvaccinated. Boosters will only be available to those who haven’t received a Covid vaccine or recovered from Covid within the last six months.
The vaccine campaign is set to include both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which include protection against the most recent strain of Covid, XBB.1.5. As with other vaccines, eligible individuals can receive their vaccine directly from the pharmacy with no prescription required.
2. New fines for hunters in France
In last week’s News Digest, we announced the opening of France’s hunting season, La Chasse, and this week, there is some good news for those concerned about the country’s controversial hunting practices. In an effort to clamp down on hunting-related accidents and deaths, which sadly still occur each year, the country announced earlier this year a 14-step plan to tighten rules around hunting and increase safety.
Now, a new law has been introduced to address hunters caught in possession of a firearm or bow while under the influence of alcohol. Drunken offenders will face fines of €1,500, rising to €3,000 for multiple offences.
While this law will likely be well received by anti-hunt activists, the proposals to ban hunting on weekends or during school holidays have so far been rejected.
3. Petrol prices set to fall?
In a bid to reduce petrol prices amid ever-increasing inflation, the French government has for the first time proposed a six-month ruling allowing petrol stations to sell fuel at a loss. Currently, retailers are legally prevented from selling fuel at a loss, a law that dates back to 1963, put in place to protect small and independent retailers from being ousted from the market by larger companies.
However, French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announced this weekend plans to lift this ban for a six-month period starting from December 1. This would likely result in petrol and diesel prices plummeting to up to 50c per litre, bringing welcome relief for consumers without the need for further government subsidies.
4. King Charles III visits France
British King Charles III will be arriving on French soil tomorrow, Wednesday, September 20th, for a state visit. The King’s planned visit earlier this year was called off due to the ongoing strikes and demonstrations over Macron’s controversial pension reforms, and this postponed trip will see a shortened itinerary, with the King spending time in Paris and Bordeaux before returning to the UK on Friday, September 22nd.
The King will be accompanied by Queen Camilla, and the pair will be making an appearance along Paris’ Champs-Elysées avenue tomorrow before enjoying a one-to-one meeting with President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace, then attending a state dinner at the Palace of Versailles in the evening.
5. Last chance to join our French Visas & Moving to France webinar!
Visas, customs, mobile phone contracts, your first French tax return – we’ll be covering it all in this week’s special edition FrenchEntrée webinar: Your Moving to France To-Do List: Visas, Healthcare, Paperwork.
I’ll be joined by an expert advisor from relocation specialists Please Help to talk you through all the official steps you’ll need to take to set up your new life in France. There will be plenty of opportunities to put your questions directly to our expert, and you can also send them to me in advance at [email protected].
Join us this Thursday, 21st September, at 2:00pm GMT+1 (London time) or 3:00pm (Paris time) – sign up for free here. I hope to see you all there!
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