Evening Update Monday 27 April 2020

It's been announced this afternoon that 7 more people have lost their lives due to Covid-19 in the Var in the past 24 hours. Three more deaths were recorded in the Alpes Maritimes. The new deaths mean that since the beginning of the pandemic there have been 198 deaths in the Var and 190 in the Alpes Maritimes as a result of the virus.

A union representing GPs has estimated that 9,000 people across France have died at home because of the coronovirus. Such deaths are not incuded in the official figures, which only include those who have passed away in hospitals and nursing homes. The union estimated the figures following a survey of its members.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is due to present the government's plans for the end of lockdown to the National Assembly tomorrow afternoon at 3pm. The proposals will then be put to a vote of MPs after a debate, which is expected to last about two and a half hours.  Meanwhile, a group of deputies are calling for a gradual re-opening of restaurants. The French government have said that further information on the re-opening of the catering sector will be given at the end of May. However, a group of over 100 deputies are asking the government to allow restaurants to re-open in three phases, from May 15 to June 15, depending on the level of coronavirus cases in their region.

The number of people seeking employment in France has risen by 7.1% in March. It's the biggest increase since 1996. The number of so-called Category B and C jobseekers - in other words those in "reduced activity" - fell by 3.1%.

In Monaco, the government have announced that HSH Prince Albert II will make a televised address to the nation regarding the coronavirus outbreak at 7pm this evening.

It's been announced that masks will be on sale in several Monegasque shops. With a view to the gradual lifting of containment, and with the aim of protecting the population, the Monegasque Government has said that it will allow small, medium and large stores in the Principality to sell the masks provided by state supply chains. The government reminds residents that  pharmacies in Monaco are authorized to sell surgical masks and FFP2 masks at prices set by the public authorities, respectively at 2 euros 50 cents and 7 euros 50 cents per unit. The list of mask sales outlets is available on the website wwww.covid19.mc      https://covid19.mc/tout-savoir-sur-les-masques/#1631

It's been announced that all concerts scheduled for the month of May at the Opéra Garnier Monte-Carlo have been canceled. Ticket holders are invited to contact the place where they purchased their tickets regarding refunds.

Residents of St Tropez are each being provided with two reuseable fabric masks. The masks will be distributed by post from next Monday, May 4, but residents must first register online at  https://www.saint-tropez.fr/coronavirus/  People who are unable to complete the online form can fill out a paper form available from various merchants, or get help by calling the town hall hotline on 04 94 55 90 00. The town of Saint-Tropez has already distributed almost 4,000 masks to vulnerable people, nursing staff, municipal officials and traders.

In other news, Meteo France have put the Var and the Alpes Maritimes on a Yellow weather warning for storms and heavy rain and flooding. The warning is in operation for tomorrow (Tuesday 28 April) from 6am to 2pm in the Var and from 8am to 2pm in the Alpes Maritimes. There is also a yellow weather warning for storms in the Alpes Maritimes until 8pm this evening (Monday).

Two people have suffered serious injuries after a car crash in Villeneuve-Loubet this morning. The accident happened on the coast road just after 9am. The drivers of the two vehicles were taken to hospital. The driver of a third vehicle, which had attempted to avoid the collision, didn't require treatment in hospital.

The town hall in Cannes has announced new measures to control the seagull population. Officers will use drones to locate and sterilize the eggs of an invasive species of seagull. The initial operations started today and will continue until Thursday. This will be followed by a second round of location and sterilization planned for the 25-28 May.


BUSINESS

The Chief Executive of Airbus has warned that the survival of the company is at stake if immediate action isn't taken. In a letter to employees at the plane maker, Guillaume Faury said that the company was "bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed" and potentially deep job cuts may be necessary. The company has already announced that it plans to cut production by one third.

Morgan Stanley said today that they expect the Eurozone economy to contract by almost 11% this year. Fellow wall Street bank J P Morgan has previously said that they expect a fall of 9% for this year. ECB President Christine Lagarde has said that the central bank expects a contraction of 2 to 3 per cent of GDP for each month of lockdown.

Struggling budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle has said that it expects the vast majority of it's planes to remain grounded until April next year and that it wouldn't get back to the normal level of flying until January 2022. The airline has announced a financial restructuring which includes a debt for equity swap and a rights issue. The restructuring is part of the airline's attempt to access financing from the Norwegian government.

Deutsche Bank has reported a net profit of 66 million euros for the first quarter, which is better than analysts had expected. The bank said that it's expecting increased loan losses as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic and has made a provision of 500 million euros for such losses in the first quarter.

The Bank of Japan has announced new measures to support the Japanese economy. It announced that it will remove a previous limit on the amount of government bonds it can buy and will also significantly increase its purchases of corporate debt. The Governor of the Bank said that the spread of the coronavirus is having what he called "a grave effect" on Japan's economy.

 

SPORT

Motorsports... It's been announced that the French Grand Prix won't go ahead this year. Organisers said on Monday that the race, which was scheduled for 28 June, has been called off because of the French government's ban on major events until the middle of July. However, Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey said that the first race of the season is now expected to take place in Austria on 3-5 July and that he expected 15-18 races to be completed this season. It's also been announced today that the British Grand Prix can't be held with spectators present. Silverstone says that it's in talks with the UK government "on the viability of an event behind closed doors".

Football... The Italian government has said that Serie A sides can return to individual training on 4 May and team training on 18 May. Although no official announcement has yet been made, it's hoped that matches may resume around 27 May to 2 June, with the season finishing in early August.

Cricket... Yorkshire have cancelled the contracts of three overseas players for this season due to the coronavirus. The players concerned are South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran. Cricket matches in England and Wales are suspended until at least 1 July.

Cycling... The UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, due to take place in Ostend in Belgium, have been cancelled. A statement from the world governing body said the decision came at the request of the organisers. The event was scheduled to take place from 4-7 June.

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