Well, it's basically the middle of April, the restrictions in place because of the Coronavirus started to slowly take place on the early evening of March 14, 2020 here in the beautiful French Riviera and the rest of France. Which at the time meant all the bars, restaurants and nightclubs were at first to limit the number of people inside but within hours had to close before midnight. As soon as the new life rules came into play it made for interesting times, life then started to change more and more as the restrictions continued to come in and yet there was still a feeling of being able to move on to an extent with freedoms not totally abolished and for the better good.
After that first evening, every day businesses were told to close to the public and if you could manage to work from home that was the best option. One of the main attractions the Cote d'Azur is known for is our stunning surrounding landscapes with the precious blue Mediterranean sea lapping against the long coastline. People were just getting used to the closures and overall limitations so naturally they headed towards the beaches.
You could sense there were people nervous about what was happening and already worried about their future while others decided to treat the invisible Covid-19 like a bit of a reason to holiday. Which at the time meant too many people were gathering at the various beaches and not staying inside so soon after those in authority barred everyone from going near any of the beaches but depending on where you live one could still see, smell and hear the waves hitting the shore. There was still life even if the blue waters were so close but yet so far away. For weeks now people have gotten used to filling out the (previously printed or hand written) online attestation form on their smartphone before leaving their residence so that if stopped by the police they can scan the code it produces. Some of the current restrictions are: limited exercise to an hour outside every day and within a 1km radius of your home and only within certain hours.
Essential workers can go to their jobs, while doing this you may be checked for such reasons before getting on trains, buses and in your car at checkpoints. One can go for quick trips to the grocery store, pharmacy or doctor appointments.
And some cities quickly enacted curfews anywhere from 7pm to 6am. Wear a mask if possible, social distance and staying home are the main rules.
President Macron gave a very strong, all encompassing and encouraging speech this past Monday night.
Basically now we will continue to be under confinement until May 11th as what we are doing as citizens is working which means we also currently will not have any new restrictions. After that date, a very small select number of schools and businesses will be allowed to re-open.
Further to that Macron said, "May 11 will be the start of a new phase. It will be progressive and the rules can be adapted according to our results."
So again, it's a day by day issue but easily handled.
One thing that seems to have stood out for us in the luxury industry, this is the time of year local businesses are really ramping up for the high season with the adrenaline going.
Obviously for health and safety reasons we are not doing any villa rentals for this time period until we get the all clear from the government.
We have been using this time to develop more efficient ways of working with our clients and suppliers while also building new partnerships with various other worldwide businesses so that we can all provide even better services in the future.
Our work in the real estate world continues to grow as well and we are thoroughly enjoying combining our resources and offering properties online to those looking towards the future with optimism as clients seek out a new property investment.
Many things during this time period have been remarkable. The sense of strength of communities coming together, people are being more helpful with each other, little things are no longer taken for granted and one of the best times is at 8pm every night when everyone stops what they are doing at home and go out on their terraces or front yards to clap and cheer for all the honorable health care workers and front line industry staff doing the best job possible in such a horrendous time.
Although life may never be the same again, hopefully this virus will be over soon and we can carry on with some valuable life lessons.
Take care everyone. See you soon.