Carry-le-Rouet, near Marseille, is a resort known for its festival of sea urchins — but now it is also home to 180 French citizens being held there on two weeks’ quarantine after being evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
The evacuees are being held under armed guard at a holiday camp where they are free to walk around inside but must wear medical masks.
Chantal Guillaumet, who lives nearby, said: "On the one hand they are French and we must help them to recover. But it's true that, even if the how and the why have been explained, we still have our worries."
Restaurants in the port decided to help the quarantined people take part in the sea urchin festival by sending free samples as a way of expressing solidarity and dissipating the initial panic.
The town's mayor, Jean Montagnac, said: "There were some concerns on the part of the people who live alongside the camp. I am completely reassured.
"In addition, every day, twice a day, we see the doctors who are there contacting these people to make sure that nothing has happened, night or day, that would indicate the presence of any of the symptoms of the illness."
During the quarantine period, the French people brought home from China are not allowed to leave the holiday camp. They're being held under armed guard.