This week in France: What you need to know

Christmas market in Reims, France
Many of France's Christmas markets open this week. Photo: Francois Nascimbeni/AFP
From flu vaccines to Thanksgiving and the first Christmas markets, via a meeting of the Defence Council on the latest Covid situation, here's what is happening this week in France.

Monday

President Emmanuel Macron visits his hometown of Amiens where he will announce an extension to the Bibliothèque nationale de France programme.

Tuesday

The flu vaccine programme opens up to everyone. Launched last month, flu vaccines have previously been reserved for those in high risk groups but from Tuesday the programme opens up to anyone who wants one.

READ ALSO How to get the flu vaccine in France

Anyone in a high risk group (eg the elderly, those with medical conditions, pregnant women, healthcare workers and carers) is entitled to the vaccine for free, but the rest of the population will need to pay. It costs between €6 and €10 for the vaccine itself, plus the standard appointment fee to have it administered, which is partially reimbursed for those with a carte vitale.

READ ALSO How to get the flu vaccine in France 

The vaccine is on offer via GPs and pharmacies and if you’re eligible for a Covid vaccine booster this can be given during the same appointment.

Tuesday

The French foodbank charity Restos du coeur launches its winter appeal. Expect to see collections at local supermarkets where charity workers will be asking shoppers to buy a few extra items and donate them to those in need.

Wednesday

A verdict is expected in the trial of French footballer Karim Benzema, who is accused of being part of a plot to blackmail a fellow France international over a sextape.

Wednesday

Ministers hold a meeting of the Defence Council to examine the latest Covid situation in France, and whether extra measures are needed. Although cases in France remain lower than many neighbouring countries, case numbers have doubled over the past week as the fifth wave hits at “lightening speed”.

Thursday

International day for the elimination of violence against women – events are planned in most French cities to mark the day.

Thursday

Americans celebrate the festival of Thanksgiving.

READ ALSO Reader tips: How to create an authentic Thanksgiving in France

Friday

This is the day that many of France’s larger Christmas markets open, including the markets in Strasbourg, Colmar and Reims. They generally run until the end of December and offer stalls, entertainment and French festive treats including vin chaud (mulled wine), pain d’épices (gingerbread) and huitres (oysters).

READ ALSO 11 of the best Christmas markets to visit in France this winter

Friday

French midwives begin industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay and working conditions.

Sunday

Beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights.


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