Like many places here, the Charente Maritime’s economy relies heavily on tourism, so there was a strong lobby by those involved to get the campsites and holiday villages open. On June the 14th President Macron announced that European borders would be opened on July 11th and that would also be the end to the state of emergency. Tourists have begun to trickle back into the area, mainly French at first, but then a few Dutch and Belgians. There have been long queues for the Ile de Re toll bridge at weekends and the pleasure boats in La Rochelle have been busy.
Despite there being a constant media campaign regarding the wearing of masks, about 50% of people were not complying , so now it is compulsory to do so in all enclosed areas and where there is a high concentration of people. The police are now on patrol everywhere and a fine of 135 euros can be imposed if the rules are not adhered to. The French tradition of kissing on each cheek is not advised, and is avoided in most cases, but friends and family can still be seen greeting each other this way…. c’est la vie….. Generally life is almost back to normal but Marans is not quite there yet. When people meet the topic of conversation is always La Covid.
• Thanks go to our man on the spot Geoff Miles for the information. At the time of writing there has been a rise in the cases of Covid in Spain. I do hope this is not repeated in France.