The benchmark coronavirus infection rate in the Alpes-Maritimes stood at 742 on the first day of August, and at over 1,000 in Cannes, according to Public Health France. Both figures are a record.

The reason for the very high rates is a combination of young people skewing the figures – among 20-29 year-olds the benchmark rate was almost 2,500 per 100,000 during the last week of July – the reopening of bars and restaurants and an influx of tourists, according to various sources.

However, these alarming infection rates are not translating into hospital admissions, down from a peak of 700 last winter to 188 on the last day of July. In addition, no deaths took place in hospitals in the Department between July 25 and July 31.

More than 50 percent of residents have received two doses of vaccine, and these inoculations have been concentrated on the most at risk groups.

However, if case numbers continue to rocket it will be interesting to see if the local authorities lose their nerve and order a tightening of restrictions. So far, the only concrete step that’s been taken is the ruling that masks must be worn in all urban areas.

FILE PHOTO: Testing in Nice Reuters