Evening Update Tuesday 11 August 2020

The Monaco government has announced that the compulsory wearing of masks will be extended to several open air areas of the Principlaity. Currently, a mask is compulsory in all closed spaces which are open to the public. As from Wednesday, 12 August the wearing of masks will also be mandatory on the Place du Palais, in the alleys of Monaco-Ville, on the Place du Casino and on the esplanade of the shopping center in Fontvieille. The government said that those places are highly frequented this summer and as medical distancing can't be ensured there, it is necessary to bring in extra measures for reasons of health and safety.

Meanwhile, French Prime Minister Jean Castex is calling for the compulsory wearing of masks in public to be extended as much as possible. Speaking this afternoon, he said that he was going to ask prefects around the country to approach local elected officials to extend the obligation to wear a mask in public as much as possible. He said that the number of people being admitted to hospital and into itensive care was rising, with 25 new clusters every day, a situation he called "worrying". He added that controls to ensure people were observing coronavirus restrictions such as mask wearing and barrier gestures would be strengthened. The Prime Minister stated that he's intending to extend the ban on events with more than 5,000 people until the end of October, but prefects would be able to override this.

An investigation had been opened after last night's panic in Cannes following false rumours of a shooting. At least 43 people suffered injuries as people took cover and fled cafes, beaches and restaurants in the area of the Croisette.  The mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, said that there had been what he called "a collective madness" after an individual shouted the word "gunshot" and confirmed that there had been no shooting. The Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes said that 43 people had been treated at the Cannes hospital. Firefighters said this morning that only minor injuries had been sustained. 81 firefighters were deployed last night as a precaution. No arrests have so far been made in connection with the incident.

Several players and staff at Parisian rugby club Stade Français have tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from a trip to Nice. The players and other staff members had been in the city for a training camp. The club hasn't so far indicated how many of their players are affected but the whole team has been placed in quarantine. The Regional Health Agency has been tracing those who had been in contact with the team during its stay in Nice.

A 53 year old man has died after being taken ill in his car in Menton this morning. Rescue services attended the incident on the avenue de Sospel, which links the centre of Menton with the A8 motorway, but the man's life couldn't be saved. Traffic was disrupted in the area, with large traffic jams building up late this morning.

A man has died after falling from a building in Bandol in the Var this morning. Reports say that two workers fell from a construction area in a villa on rue Rene Cassin. One fell three metres and is now being treated at the Sainte-Anne hospital in Toulon. The other man fell six metres. He was in cardiac arrest when firefighters arrived and couldn't be rescusitated.

The French Minister for Foreign Trade, Franck Riester, has been visiting a company in Toulon this morning. The minister has been on holiday in the Var and visited the start-up business specialising in artificial intelligence before heading to Corsica to continue his holiday.

About a dozen departments in northern France are still under a top-level Meteo France red alert for extreme temperatures. Most of the rest of France is still under an orange alert, which is one step down from a red alert, with the west coast being under a yellow level alert. On the Meditteranean coast, the only alert is a yellow level for storms and heat in the Alpes Maritimes.

A French worker has been shot dead in Guatemala. Benoit Maria worked for a French non-governmental organization which helped local farmers. He was apparently attacked whilst driving in an area about 160km north of Guatemala city. The French embassy in Guatemala urged local officials to ensure "justice can be done quickly".


BUSINESS

New figures released today in the UK show that the number of people on the payrolls of UK businesses fell by 730,000 between March and July. About 2.7 million people were claiming out of work benefits in July. As regards job vacancies, the Office for National Statistics said that the number of vacancies was 45% lower in July than a year earlier.

UK retailer Debenhams has announced the loss of 2,500 jobs in addition to the 4,000 announced since May. It said that the job losses will be mainly across its UK stores and distribution centre. The department store operator said that the current trading environment for retailers is still "a long way from returning to normal".

Heathrow airport has reported a fall in passenger traffic of 88% in July. It said that the "vast majority" of its route network remains grounded due to quarantine rules. The airport's chief executive John Holland-Kaye said that quarantine restrictions are "strangling the UK economy" and renewed calls for Covid-19 testing at airports.

 

SPORT

Football.... The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has said that Celtic and Aberdeen should not be playing matches this week after their players breached covid-19 restrictions. Celtic player Boli Bolingoli has admitted that he played in Sunday's match against Kilmarnock despite having returned from Spain without going into quarantine. In a statement the defender said that he had been "guilty of a major error of judgement". Eight Aberdeen players broke covid-19 restrictions by visiting a bar together the previous weekend. The First Minister said that her warning today should be considered a yelow card and "the next time it will be the red card".

Tennis.. British player Johanna Konta has said that she suffered from heart palpitations whilst playing at the Lexington Open. She said that she felt "lightheaded" after suffering the palpitations while playing world number 48 Marie Bouzkova in Kentucky. After consultation with a doctor, she continued to play in the match but was defeated 6-4 6-4.

Snooker... Mark Selby is through to the World Championship semi-finals after beating Neil Robertson 13-7 at the Crucible in Sheffield today. Selby will face Mark Williams or Ronnie O'Sullivan in the last four.

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