Blog Archive

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Online posts from expats in France find an increased audience among stressed Americans.

With American tourists banned from Europe, online posts from expatriates are as close to a vacation abroad as many got this year.

Jamie Beck, 37, a photographer who was living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, moved to Provence about four years ago, and now she documents the sunflowers and vineyards and castles and croissants that she encounters, all the while clad in a seemingly endless series of flouncy white dresses. Her apartment in the town of Apt has previously been rented for honeymoons. It’s all very idyllic, and her 317,000 Instagram followers seem to agree. She is known, for want of a better term, as a “Frenchfluencer.”

During “le confinement” — what the French call their coronavirus lockdown — Ms. Beck lost all her commercial work.

“The only thing I could control was what I did with my time, so I decided to make a piece of art

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  • November 5, 2020
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Should You Move to France? Ask an Expat Blogger

Four years ago, Jamie Beck was a photographer living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She was on a plane and had an anxiety attack and was convinced she would die. “The first thing I thought was, ‘I will never know what it’s like to live in France,’” she said. “I swore if the plane landed, I will move to France.” It did. And she did.

Ms. Beck, 37, was following in the footsteps of so many before her into French expatriate life: Ernest Hemingway, Peter Mayle, “Emily in Paris.” She moved to Provence, where she documents the sunflowers and vineyards and castles and croissants that she encounters, all the while clad in a seemingly endless series of flouncy white dresses. Her apartment in the town of Apt has previously been rented for honeymoons. It’s all very idyllic, and her 317,000 Instagram followers seem to agree.

During “le confinement”

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  • November 5, 2020
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France Rattled By Gruesome Terror Attacks and Second COVID Lockdown

PARIS—Before the killings began, Nice’s largest church was quiet and nearly deserted.

Vincent Loqués opened the Basilica of Notre-Dame at 8:30 a.m. as usual. The landmark cathedral, a striking bone-white structure, was built in the mid-1860s in the Neo-Gothic style and sits on Nice’s Avenue Jean Médecin—a busy artery in the city center lined with cafes and shops. The 55-year-old Loqués worked there as a sexton for the past 10 years, and his duties included welcoming visitors and worshipers when the church opened.

One such worshipper was 44-year-old Simone Barreto Silva. The Brazilian-born mother of three had lived in Nice for decades and had come to the basilica for a morning prayer session.

Minutes later, a knife-wielding young man entered the church and began attacking those inside, stabbing both Loqués and Silva. Loqués died at the scene, but Silva was able to stagger to a nearby cafe before collapsing and

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  • October 30, 2020
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France urged to charge traffickers with manslaughter after migrant family drowned in Channel

When the boat capsized two miles off the coast in seas whipped up by 18 mph winds, they were trapped in the cabin as 15 others on board were pulled from the water. Rescuers believe two other migrants are missing, feared dead.

The region’s prosecutor, Sebastien Pieve, has already interviewed all but one of the 15 survivors detained as part of a criminal investigation and indicated on Wednesday that he could bring charges within the next 24 hours.

He said: “It’s about establishing if they are victims or smugglers and identifying possible suspects, in particular the pilot of the boat.”

Rasoul’s brother Khalil said it was the family’s third attempt to reach the UK after two previous bids by train. “We begged him to not try to cross by boat. He insisted on going,” said Khalil, who last spoke to him on Monday.

This was despite the family’s experience crossing

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  • October 28, 2020
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Germany, France Take Action; Japan’s Second Wave: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Germany will extend a program designed to stop millions of workers losing their jobs, joining several other European nations in renewing its job-support package. Meanwhile, France is preparing to announce a 100 billion-euro ($118 billion) stimulus plan next week.

Japan’s virus czar said the country faces a second wave of Covid-19 cases larger than the first. South Korea ordered striking doctors back to work as several Asian countries tightened restrictions on travelers from the nation.

U.S. first lady Melania Trump capped the second night of the Republican convention with a speech that focused on the ravages from the coronavirus.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 23.9 million; deaths pass 819,600Phantom U.S. companies got more than $1 billion in virus aidSome countries don’t want to wait for superpowers’ vaccinesA U.K. pivot on masks in schools angers Boris Johnson’s ToriesUnderstanding the virus and its unanswered questionsVaccine Tracker: Where we are

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  • August 26, 2020
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Group of musicians avoid quarantine by 10 minutes by hiring fishing boat to travel from France to UK

The Scotland-based Dunedin Consort were staying in Lessay Abbey in Normandy, performing their first concert since lockdown, when the 14 day quarantine was announced.
The Scotland-based Dunedin Consort were staying in Lessay Abbey in Normandy, performing their first concert since lockdown, when the 14 day quarantine was announced.

A group of musicians managed to avoid the French quarantine rules with 10 minutes to spare after chartering a fishing boat to get them back to the UK.

The Scotland-based Dunedin Consort were staying in Lessay Abbey in Normandy, performing their first concert since lockdown, when the 14 day quarantine was announced.

The group were able to secure a boat at the last minute and eventually arrived at Hayling Island in Hampshire at 03:50am on Saturday August 15 – a mere ten minutes before the new rules came into effect.

In an interview with BBC Five Live, the Consort’s Chief Executive, Jo Buckley said: “We sat up for a good few hours on Thursday night after the announcement and we tried to Eurostar, the ferry, we

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  • August 16, 2020
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Airbnb restricts under-25s from booking entire rooms in UK, France and Spain

The company hopes to 'protect local communities' with its decision - AFP/LIONEL BONAVENTURE
The company hopes to ‘protect local communities’ with its decision – AFP/LIONEL BONAVENTURE

Airbnb has banned under-25s with repeat negative reviews from hiring local homes through its platform in an attempt to cut down on unauthorised parties.

Trialling the initiative in Britain, France and Spain, the online lettings website announced it will prohibit anyone under the age of 25, who has less than three positive ratings, from renting entire homes nearby to where they live.

The move is hoped to limit anti-social behaviour within Airbnb listings, amid concern about events where social distancing measures have not been adhered to.

“The restriction is intended to protect local communities while still allowing younger guests to book listings outside of their local area,” Airbnb said in a statement.

Those with at least three positive reviews and no negative ones, or with long-term plans, are exempt from the restriction, and all users can still

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  • August 14, 2020
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How France, Malta and Netherlands joining ‘no-go’ list will affect British travellers

Action stations: Dover is expected to be extremely busy as travellers race to get home before quarantine takes effect: Port of Dover
Action stations: Dover is expected to be extremely busy as travellers race to get home before quarantine takes effect: Port of Dover

Hundreds of thousands of British holidaymakers in France, Malta and the Netherlands, and many more with plans to visit these countries, face two weeks in self-isolation when they return.

As a result of new soaring coronavirus cases in some parts of these countries, they have been stripped of their “quarantine exempt” status by the Department for Transport (DfT). In addition, the Foreign Office warns against non-essential travel.

Monaco, Aruba and the Turks & Caicos Islands are also off the “safe” list.

These nations now join Spain, Portugal, Belgium and many other countries as effectively off-limits to many UK travellers.

These are the key questions and answers.

What has changed – and why?

These countries have seen sharp increases in cases of coronavirus over the past few weeks. As

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  • August 14, 2020
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France among six nations placed on UK travel quarantine list as cases rise

Travelelrs, wearing protective face masks, line up at a check-in desk of the Orly Airport, south of Paris on August 1, 2020 during a major weekend of the French summer holidays - Stephanie de Sakutin/AFP
Travelelrs, wearing protective face masks, line up at a check-in desk of the Orly Airport, south of Paris on August 1, 2020 during a major weekend of the French summer holidays – Stephanie de Sakutin/AFP

France is among six countries that have been struck off the Government’s quarantine free travel destination list after another record high in post-lockdown cases in the country.

Up to 400,000 Britons are currently on holiday in France and they now face a last-minute dash to return home before the new restrictions come into force on Saturday at 4am.

Britain’s second favourite holiday destination was removed from the UK’s “travel corridor” list tonight as the French health ministry reported 2,699 infections in 24 hours.

Whilst on Thursday morning, it was thought France had done “enough” to retain its status, it has now been taken off the quarantine-free list alongside the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos,

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  • August 13, 2020
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France ‘days away from being added to quarantine list’

Paris has tightened rules on wearing face masks in public
Paris has tightened rules on wearing face masks in public

France is days away from being added to the UK’s quarantine list, according to senior sources within the Government. 

The Foreign Office is due to update its ‘safe’ list this week, with Portugal hoping to gain its first travel corridor of the pandemic, meaning returning holidaymakers will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days. France, however, is one of several countries in Europe to have seen a rise in its number of coronavirus infections in recent days. 

Paul Charles, spokesperson for campaign group Quash Quarantine and founder of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said he understood France, along with Malta, Switzerland, Poland and the Netherlands, could be subject to fresh restrictions. 

“I know from senior government sources that anything above 20 cases per 100,000 for a period of seven days or more is likely to lead to that country

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  • August 10, 2020