Evening Update Friday 3 April 2020

The mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, has announced that laser thermometers will be installed at the entrance of certain businesses and public places. The mayor said that the town hall had started to contact local businesses such as supermarkets about installation of the thermometers, which would be on a voluntary basis. The equipment would be provided by the city of Cannes.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has announced that all transport on the Lignes d'Azur network will be free of charge. The mayor said that the measure was aimed at supporting those who have to travel but can only do so by public transport. Controls are being strengthened to ensure that people using the network are only doing so for necessary journeys.

A teenager is in police custody after an attack on a police officer in Nice. The 19 year old was arrested last night after an object was thrown at an officer from a building on Wednesday while police were enforcing the containment measures.

La Poste has said that it will gradually increase mail and parcel deliveries from three days to four days per week. It acknowledged that there had been complaints from households, particularly in rural areas,  and said it had made "a mistake" in reducing deliveries to three days. La Poste also said it is also working with local authorities to try to open more post offices during the coronavirus crisis.

An isolation centre for homeless people with the coronavirus has opened in Nice. The centre, in the Falicon district, is aimed at confining those whose condition is not serious enough to warrant hospitalisation.

Another group of health workers have travelled to the Paris region to provide assistance to stretched medical facilities. Seventy health personnel left Marseille airport for the capital this morning.

The Cannes Lions 2020, the gathering of professionals from the world of advertising, has been cancelled due to the impact COVID-19. The next edition of the Festival is scheduled for June 21-25, 2021.

President Emmanuel Macron has said that the vast majority of French citizens who were stranded abroad because of the coronavirus pandemic have now been repatriated. He said that since mid-March 132,000 French people have been returned to France with 4,000 to 5,000 yet to return.

Sports goods retailer Decathlon has announced that it's donating 30,000 full-face diving masks to health care workers to help to protect them during the pandemic.

The prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes has prohibited walks and sporting activities in the port of Nice. From this Saturday, April 3rd, until at least April 15, travel related to individual physical activity, walking and the needs of pets are prohibited throughout the port of Nice  as well as on Place Île- de-Beauté.   The fines are now 135 euros if the trip cannot be justified.


BUSINESS

A widely watched survey suggests that the UK and eurozone economies have cotracted at the fastest pace since the survey began in 1996. The IHS Markit/SIPS survey of the UK manufacturing and services sector recorded a figure of 36 for March. A figure below 50 indicates economic contraction. The reading for the French economy was even lower, coming in at 28.9. The figure for the Eurozone as a whole was 29.7 in March, down from 51.6 in February.

The UK government has made changes to the recently announced loan scheme to support businesses during the pandemic. The sceme has faced criticism in the last few days with some businesses saying that they had been unable to access funding as their banks had been applying strict criterea, applying high interest rates or demanding personal guarantees. The UK government has pledged to guarantee £330bn of loans but only £145m has been lent so far.

Google has announced that it will publicly release data showing how many people have visited various locations over the previous few days. It said that it hopes it will help those involved in public health to manage the crisis.  The new service, covering about 130 countries, will show how many people are visiting supermarkets, pharmacies, train stations, office buidings and other locations. The data, taken from Google Maps and other mobile sources, is anonymous and the company has said that individuals' privacy will be preserved.

 

SPORT

Football... The Premier League has proposed a cut in player's salaries in order to "protect employment throughout the professional game". Clubs will ask players to take a 30% reduction in pay. After a meeting today, the Premier League said that the season will not resume until "it is safe and appropriate to do so". The League also announced that it's giving £125m to the EFL and National League, plus £20m to the NHS and vulnerable groups.

Cycling... One of the major events of the cycling calendar has been cancelled. The Tour de Suisse, which is often viewed as a warm-up race for the Tour de France, won't be taking place this year. It was due to be held from 6 to 14 June. It's the first time the event has been cancelled since the Second World War.

Golf... The US Women’s Open, scheduled to take place in Houston in June, has been postponed until 10 December. The USGA chief executive Mike Davis said that the USGA "remains committed to hosting the US Women’s Open in 2020.

Athletics... World Triathlon has extended the suspension of all its events, including the World Triathlon Series, to 30 June because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cricket... It's been announced that Edgbaston Cricket Ground is to become a NHS staff test centre. Warwickshire County Cricket Club is letting the stadium car park be used as as drive-through location for Covid-19 testing. The club said it would also give NHS staff free entry to a fixture in the summer.

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