Lockdown day 51 – Update from Brignoles

Hello my dearest Provence Living followers, thank you for your support and words of encouragement in the past week while website techie Victoria (@asimplyfablife) helped to get the site dehacked and work on some damage control. Victoria said that sometimes this is the price to pay for “being popular” LOL! I wish!

Anyways, I’m sure some of you are curious as to what is going on here so I’ll give you a quick update:

In Brignoles yesterday there were ZERO cases of COVID-19 reported. Since the 30th of April there were 577 tests conducted at the Brignoles public hospital of which 63 came back positive, there are currently 198 COVID patients hospitalised. Between the 1st and 4th of May at the private clinics there were 952 tests conducted out of which 25 were found to be positive for COVID. In the private clinics between the 2nd and 30th of April there were 1,331 tests conducted of which 63 persons were found to be positive (source: Mayor of Brignole’s daily news letter dated 5th May 2020). To conclude, the rate at which people are testing positive is between 2.6 and 11 per cent at its highest and the rate is going down. This is good news. But we will see how the figures may change after lockdown is lifted on the 11th of May. And we will know if the 11th of May will actually go ahead on the 7th of May when they will announce it officially (it all depends on the numbers of COVID positive cases that creep up this week, so fingers crossed!).

Many people in Europe and the UK would like to visit France this summer and are asking if this is going to be possible. The short answer is we don’t know but likely, no. The long answer is that people who NEED to come to France for a good reason (NOT for vacation) will be allowed to after filling out a form, the international travel certificate. Basically you can come and go if you work as a health professional, need to travel for work, or are a permanent French resident. But the hassle will not be worth it for most people. The restaurants will not likely open here before mid Summer (if that even) and everything is still unclear. Edouard Philippe, our prime minister, has told everyone more than a couple of times to not make any vacation plans going out of France so I do not expect France to just let other vacationers in from other countries, not even from the UK or rest of Europe.

In the news the French are complaining bitterly about the hypocricy of letting people travel to work on public transportation with masks but not allowing anyone to go to the beach. I think there is a good reason for this. 1) people on public transportation are not there to socialise, they are moving from point A to B and 2) beach goers would be hard to keep apart if they are there for a good time. But I get how people feel cheated, particularly when current temperatures in the South of France are at a high 28 degrees! The beach would be somewhere I’d rather be RIGHT NOW.

Many people have started to go back to work. We can now get plants at the garden centres and some shops are open that have nothing to do with primary necessities like food. And most of the wine domaines and shops are open too and if you are living locally you should know that they offer free delivery service. The Cotignac cooperative, Carpe Diem, Nestuby, and very soon Mirabeau Wine will be open and busy making deliveries so don’t hesitate to go onto their websites and ask about that.

Personally speaking I have been busy stuffing myself with bakery sweets and washing it all down with rosé, snacking on baby almonds and making masks for my children but not in that order. I bought textile scraps on the internet a year ago thinking I would make a quilt with them but they are perfect as material for masks today. Pretty soon we will all need to be wearing them in public so might as well try and make them look attractive.

Keep safe everyone! 🙂