Evening Update Thursday 2 April 2020

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has said in an interview today that a digital travel certificate will be available on smartphones as from this coming Monday, the 6th of April. He said that it will be available on the website of the Ministry of the Interior and the government and it would be possible to "edit the form, from our smartphone, in order to present it to the police, with a QR Code."

A man from Nice has been remanded in custody after repeated breaches of the confinement measures. The 30 year old had been fined four times by police since the beginning of the confinement period and appeared before a judge via videolink. He was kept in detention until the beginning of his trial which is expected to begin in 15 days time.

Firefighters have called for caution after four people were poisoned by carbon monoxide fumes in their house. Firefighters were called to a family of two adults and two children in Nice Nord last night. They were taken to hospital where they are recovering. Initial investigations suggest that a faulty gas water heater may have been to blame. Fire authorities said that they recommend that all citizens remain vigilant in the face of the dangers of the home and regularly ventilate their home.

Renaud Muselier, President of the South Region of France, has said that reports that four million protective masks ordered by France were diverted to the United States are incorrect. On Twitter, he said "I would like to remind you that the masks of [the south region] are on the way and were not bought by a foreign power".

The Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes has released a report which quantifies the health equipment distributed by the state in the department. The reports says that, to date, over 910,000 protective masks have been distributed in the Alpes-Maritimes. Local municipalities have also made distributions of  masks from their own stocks. The next delivery of masks by the state is scheduled for April 6.

Three cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in a nursing home in Bormes-les-Mimosas. Relatives of those affected have been informed and they will have access to psychological support services.

The on-call medical service at the Pasteur 2 hospital in Nice has switched to teleconsultation. On-call services are available by telephone when doctors offices are closed. It's available from 8p.m. to midnight on weekdays, on Saturdays from 12 p.m., Sundays and holidays from 9 a.m. The number to call is 05.53.35.51.11.

La Fontonne hospital in Antibes has given an update on the number of Covid-19 patients in its care. As of yesterday evening, twenty patients with Covid-19 were being treated and ten patients were in the intensive care unit. The mayor of Antibes Jean Leonetti said that the hospital always keeps beds available if needed, "especially if the patient's condition worsens and in fact requires resuscitation."

Another major event on the Riviera has been cancelled. It's been announced that the Monte-Carlo Television Festival will not take place this year. The festival was scheduled to take place in June but the next edition will now be held in June 2021.

French Minister of Housing Julien Denormandie has announced the allocation of 65 million euros to help homeless people during the pandemic. The ministry has requisitioned 7,600 hotel rooms, mostly in areas worst affected by the virus outbreak. The Minister said that, in total, 170,000 people in precarious situations have been accommodated throughout the country.

French interior minister Christophe Castaner has warned people not to try to go away on holiday over the Easter period. He said that control points would be set up along major roads which are normally used during the Easter getaway. Extra police are also being deployed to train stations and airports over the holiday to carry out document checks. He said that people must remain confined during the confinement period.


BUSINESS

The US Department of Labor has released new figures for jobless claims, showing a record high for the second week in a row. Over 6.6 million people filed jobless claims in the week ended 28 March. That's nearly double the week earlier, which was also a new record.

The Spanish government has released unemployment figures for March which show the highest monthly rise in unemployment ever recorded in the country. The data shows that almost 900,000 people have lost their jobs since the start of the lockdown in Spain, including about 550,000 temporary workers.

European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has said that the next EU budget should take the form of a new “Marshall Plan”. She said that quick answers were needed and "we cannot take one, two or three years to invent new tools.” The Marshall Plan was a US programme which provided aid for western Europe after the Second World War.

In the UK, the Financial conduct Authority has announced plans to freeze loan and credit card payments for up to 3 months. The plans are aimed at helping consumers and those who rent their home and therefore haven't been able to access measures to support homeowners. Reports say that the new measures may come into force as early as the 9th of April.

New data from the UK Office for National Statistics shows a big jump in prices charged online for cough and cold medicine. Prices for those items increased by 10% between the week of 16-22 March and the week of 23-30 March. However, online prices of dried pasta, baby food and anti-bacterial surface wipes fell in the period.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union..Eddie Jones has agreed a contract extension to coach England through to the Rugby World Cup in France in 2023. His current contract was due to expire in August 2021.

Cricket... Tony Lewis, the  cricket statistician and co-creator of the Duckworth-Lewis method has died at the age of 78. Lewis and fellow academic Frank Duckworth worked together to create the method for settling weather-affected limited-overs matches which was adopted by the ICC in 1999.

Sussex chief executive Rob Andrew says clubs must plan for the possibility that no county cricket will be played in England this summer. The 2020 season has been put on hold until at least 28 May. Sussex have already placed most of their non-playing staff on temporary leave.

Football... The Belgian Pro League has become the first major European league to be cancelled because of coronavirus. Club Bruges are expected to be declared champions with the current league table set to stand. The league’s board of directors made the decision and have made a recommendation to the general assembly which is expected to give its approval on the 15 April.

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