BBC news presenter Geeta Guru-Murthy and her husband Philip Collins had to abandon their burning villa and their car as they escaped the raging fires bringing horror to holidaymakers.
As many as 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and holiday sites while others were locked down in a holiday centre for Air France employees.
Thousands of protesters flocked to the streets throughout France on Saturday, August 7, for the fourth weekend in a row to demonstrate against a new pandemic health permit that is required to access most establishments or use public transportation. The current round of demonstrations comes after France’s highest court upheld the majority of a new law mandating the health pass and the vaccination of healthcare professionals against the coronavirus. According to the court, the stipulations were in line with the nation’s founding charter.
As per a notification issued by the French government on July 29, residents were expected to “present a health pass to access leisure and culture venues and events bringing together more than 50 people.” The health cards will be required to enter pubs, restaurants, and shopping centres starting Monday, as well as for the long-distance travel by plane, rail, or bus.
President Emmanuel Macron has pushed for the pass, which requires confirmation of vaccination, a negative coronavirus test result within the last 48 hours, or proof of recovery from the virus for at least 15 days (but not more than six months).
Macron thinks that the new laws will encourage inhabitants to get vaccinated and prevent the spread of the fast-spreading Delta strain of the coronavirus as France approaches the “fourth wave” of the pandemic. According to polls, the majority of French citizens approve the health passes.
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered their countries back into lockdown on Wednesday, as a massive second wave of coronavirus infections threatened to overwhelm Europe before the winter.
World stock markets went into a dive in response to the news that Europe’s biggest economies were imposing nationwide restrictions almost as severe as the ones that drove the global economy this year into its deepest recession in generations.
“The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated,” Macron said in a televised address. “Like all our neighbours, we are submerged by the sudden acceleration of the virus.”
“We are all in the same position: overrun by a second wave which we know will be harder, more deadly than the first,” he said. “I have decided that we need to return to the lockdown which stopped the virus.”
Under the new French measures which come into force on Friday, people will be required to stay in their homes except to buy essential goods, seek medical attention, or exercise for up to one hour a day. They will be permitted to go to work if their employer deems it impossible for them to do the job from home. Schools will stay open.