The High Authority for Health this morning announced its recommendations for the vaccine strategy in France, which it said should take place in five phases. It said that the first priority for vaccinations are residents of nursing homes and other collective accomodation and health professionals working in nursing homes who are over 65 or have comorbidities and are in prolonged and regular contact with people susceptible to be infected. The second phase affects those aged over 75 and those aged over 65, plus certain health professionals. The third phase is people over 50 or those under 50 who are at risk of a severe form of Covid-19 because of their comorbidities. Also in the third phase, the authority says that the government may wish to offer vaccinations to those deemed to be in essential sectors such as education. The fourth phase involves people who are highly exposed to the virus and who haven't yet been vaccinated. The final phase is for those over 18 without comorbidities. The Authority said that these recommendations will be updated and adapted according to data about each vaccine, availability and potential pressures on supply. The Agency added that it does not recommend, at this stage, to make vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory .
The French government is sending out text messages to mobile phone users reminding them to download the TousAntiCovid app. It says that now the shops have reopend more people will pass each other. The government says that more than ten million French people are already using the app.
The Regional Health Agency for the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region is drawing attention to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the treatment of cancer. The agency says that there is "no doubt" that the pandemic has had an impact on cancer patients, in particular with delays in screening, access to diagnosis and treatment. It pointed out that delaying cancer treatment for even a month has a significant impact on the risk of patient mortality. The agency said that it is doing everything possible to ensure that the impact is minimized.
Train services were disrupted along the coast this morning after the railway station in Cannes was evacuated. Firefighters were called after smoke was apparently seen inside the station. The all clear was given shortly afterwards and it's believed that discarded cigatette butts may have set off a smoke alarm.
The search for two people missing off the coast of the Hérault department was called off this morning. A 12 metre long fishing boat with three people on board sank about 20km off the coast late last night. CrossMed organised searches by lifeboats supported by a helicopter and about fifteen local fishing vessels. One man was recovered from the water suffering from shock and hypothermia but the two others have yet to be located.
Elected officials including Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi and Alpes Maritimes deputy Eric Ciotti have been inspecting the progress of road repairs in the Var river valley today. The aim is to re-establish the RM6102, where the road has been washed away for 100m. Workers are re-establishing protective structures in the bed of the Var and working to secure the road. The work should be completed at the end of January. In total, storm Alex damaged or destroyed 50km of roads, including 35km of structural roads, and 19 structures were destroyed or very weakened in the Tinée and Vésubie valleys at a total estimated cost of 765 million euros.
The Prefect of the Var has reminded local businesses and associations about the phone number established to provide information on the emergency measures put in place to support them. The number, which is available to businesses and organisations nationwide, not just in the Var, is 0 806 000 245 and is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 12 noon and from 1pm to 4pm.
Many departments in north east France are under Meteo France alerts for icy conditions as the first cold episode of the winter affects the region. Meteo France said that this morning temperatures of minus four to minus eight degrees were recorded in many areas of the north-east.
Shops in England will be allowed to stay open 24 hours a day over the festive period. Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said that local authorities will be able to waive the rules restricting retail opening hours in the run-up to Christmas and in January. He said that the changes would allow shopping to be "more pleasant and safer". Clothing retailer Primark has said that it plans to open 11 of its stores for 24 hours after England's lockdown is lifted on Wednesday.
In the UK, the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases continued increasing in October, to 97,500 from 92,100 in September. According to the new figures from the Bank of England, it was the highest number of approvals since September 2007 and was 33% higher than approvals in February before the pandemic began. However, the Bank also said that net consumer lending fell by 590 million pounds in October as households paid off their credit card debt.
Football... Wolves player Raul Jimenez has had surgery after being injured in the match against Arsenal at the weekend. Jimenez and Arsenal's David Luiz collided early in the match. The Wolves striker was taken to hospital where he's had surgery on a fractured skull.
Rugby Union... There are two games in the Guinness Pro 14 tonight. Edinburgh play Ulster and Munster face Zebre.
The women's Rugby World Cup is set to expand from 12 to 16 teams from 2025. There are currently 12 teams split into three pools. Bill Beaumont, the chairman of World Rugby called the decision a "milestone moment" for the women's game.
Motorsports.. It's been announced that Carlos Sainz Sr will drive in the inaugural Extreme E series in 2021. The Spanish rally champion and father of Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz will drive for the Acciona team.