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France coronavirus: Vaccine roll-out ready for January but why are many French people still anti-vax?
A vaccination campaign against Covid19 is being put in place to begin in France as early as mid-January, following announcements that several vaccines should be ready in 2021. Yet France ranked last out of 15 countries in a recent Ipsos poll on attitudes to vaccines, with only 54% of those polled saying they would get vaccinated against Covid-19, compared to 79% in the UK, 69% in Germany and 65% in Italy.
Elsewhere, we look at the efforts to find the origins of the coronavirus as citizens’ health group Unacs takes the French government to court to demand answers, and the story of an Englishman and a Frenchman who went litter picking from Marseille to Paris to highlight the problem of mask disposal.
Read our coronavirus vaccine coverage on the front page and continued on pages 2 and 3. Plus stay informed with our analysis of the coronavirus situation online
Brexit: Retirees minimal income levels defined, pensioners should now apply for a new Ehic, your questions answered
A minimal means test level will apply for Brexit residency cards for retirees, the French government has confirmed. The level set is that of the French income support benefit RSA for a single person, which is currently €564.78/month.
We also give details for British state pensioners, who currently have the S1 for their healthcare, on applying for a newly issued Ehic, mandatory from next year. Plus, you will find the answers to your recent Brexit questions, including on the 90/180 day rule and residency eligibility for children.
Find more with our Brexit news coverage on pages 6 and 7. Updated information will be available online in our Brexit section as it is released.
Comment: Why a ban on online photos of police is a dangerously bad idea and Biden is good for France
A new bill will make posting of photos or videos of French officers a criminal offence if there is an ‘intent to harm’. The punishment could be as severe as a year in prison and a €45,000 fine. “Beyond high-minded arguments about a plunge into totalitarianism, the reality is that no government anywhere in the world has yet learned how to tame the internet,” writes Nabila Ramdani.
Anne-Lorraine Bujon, associate researcher on America for international affairs body Ifri, writes how Joe Biden as US president should mean better US-France relations, while Nick Inman looks at the problem of France’s ‘medical deserts’ after his recent experience of being unable to get a doctor’s appointment in his rural village.
Our guest columnists weigh in on the recent news stories in France on pages 14 and 15
Family: Hope for children with learning difficulties as new project launches
An initiative to help identify and assist children aged between six and 15 with learning difficulties is to start in Occitanie early next year with a view to being rolled out across the rest of France. This is encouraging news for parents of children with one of the “dys” conditions, including dyslexia and dyspraxia, plus attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who have been battling for years to get more help.
Parents in France can find out more about issues affecting children in our Family section on page 20
Property: Historic family chateau where the Queen Mother stayed could be yours for €2.8million
A Chateau which has been owned by the same aristocratic family since around AD950 is up for sale on the banks of the Charente river. The Chateau includes a large dining hall, two large reception rooms, and four en-suite bedrooms – including one that was used by the British Queen Mother.
Read our property coverage on pages 37 to 39
Culture and history: Iconic Parisian bookstore Shakespeare and Co, launches appeal. What is it like to be an air traffic controller?
Shakespeare and Company, one of the best-recognised independent bookshops in the world, has seen sales plummet as bookshops are not deemed essential by the government and have been forced to close during both national lockdowns. An appeal has been launched to save the shop alongside a campaign that allows supporters to sign up for an annual membership.
Plus, we take a look inside an air traffic control tower to discover there is much more to air traffic control than many people assume.
Read these stories and more in our History, Culture and Interview sections
Also in the December edition:
Driving: UK licences are still valid in 2021 + Should you buy or lease a car in France?
Small businesses: Do low income firms hit by Covid closures have to pay the full CFE business tax this year?
More money and tax: What you can expect from the French taxman in 2021
And: French Living lifestyle and culture pull-out for print subscribers, including an interview with best-selling author Kate Mosse and festive features on Christmas candied fruit, warming winter recipes, caring for poinsettias, gift ideas and more.