Nice’s maire has ordered a ban on holiday rentals - such as Airbnb - in the city from February 6 to 20 as a measure to stem the spread of Covid-19.
“It is in nobody's interest that, in order to scrape together a few days or weeks of rent, a collective risk should be taken by allowing a large influx of at-risk people,” Christian Estrosi said.
He has called on the prefect of Alpes-Maritimes, Bernard Gonzalez, to enforce the same rule department-wide. If that does not happen, Mr Estrosi said he would consider extending the ban into March.
Je prends dès aujourd'hui un arrêté interdisant les locations saisonnières à #Nice06 du 6 au 20 février, ce qui correspond à la première période des vacances d'hiver et qui pourra être reconduit. J'appelle le @Prefet06 à prendre un arrêté sur une zone plus étendue. pic.twitter.com/AsgMOUrPwd— Christian Estrosi (@cestrosi) January 27, 2021
The move has been criticised by the Union Nationale pour la Promotion de la Location de Vacances (UNPLV), which has labeled it inconsistent, unfounded and discriminatory.
The rule is “not consistent as, by my knowledge, Nice is the only city that has made such a ruling,” said Timothée de Roux, head of the UNPLV.
It is “discriminatory as tourists who come to Nice will not have any other choice but to stay in a hotel. Unfounded, as holiday rentals, contrary to hotels, limit interaction with the outside world as much as possible”.
“All the more so as, before the summer of 2020, we put in place a specific health protocol for furnished rentals to protect the health of holidaymakers,” he said.
France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex has said that travel during the February holidays, which run from today (February 6) until February 22, will still be permitted.
“We have chosen to not limit movement between regions...However, more than ever, we must avoid any slackening [of efforts to control Covid-19],” he said during a press conference on February 4.
Random checks on rule breakers
It will still be possible to book accommodation in Nice during the February holidays through holiday rental platforms but accommodation owners and renters risk sanctions if they are caught.
Mr Estrosi has said that random police checks will be carried out to catch rule breakers.
Holidaymakers who have already booked a non-hotel stay in Nice will have to arrange the cancellation directly with the accommodation owner / rental.
The platforms themselves will not punish anyone who breaks this rule.
Limited travel for Monegasques
There are also now restrictions in place for people living in Monaco entering France.
Any resident of Monaco is now only able to travel restriction-free up to 30 kilometres into France.
Anyone wishing to go beyond that will have to have a PCR test taken within 72 hours of setting off from Monaco that shows a negative result.
There is an exception for people with “compelling reasons”, details of which can be found on the French government’s website here.
Any Monaco resident with a second home in France that is further than 30 kilometres from the Monaco border will also have to have a negative Covid-19, likewise for those planning to stay at a second home in France for more than 72 hours.
More details can be found here.