President Macron has held a defence council meeting with his ministers and health authorities this morning to discuss the coronavirus situation. A second defence council meeting will take place tomorrow morning after which reports say the president will make an address detailing new measures. Prime Minister Jean Castex is meeting political leaders this afternoon to discuss the crisis before meeting unions and business leaders this evening. Media reports suggest that new coronavirus restrictions may come into force as soon as this weekend.
The Deputy Minister for Autonomy Brigitte Bourguignon said today that antigenic coronavirus tests will be available in all French nursing homes by the end of this week or early next week. She added that decisions concerning nursing homes will be made during the defence council meetings.
The Cannes town hall has launched a municipal unit to support the economic and social victims of Covid-19. The Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, said that the unit was being created in anticipation of what he called "the violent and very painful social crisis that we are going to experience". Identification of those in need and requiring assistance will be made on a case-by-case basis, in conjunction with associations and institutional and business partners. The scheme, which the mayor said is the first of it's kind, will have an initial budget of 200,000 euros. A free telephone number and an e-mail address have been established for local people in need to get in touch with the Cannes municipality. The number is 0805 38 23 23 (open from Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6pm) and the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
The number of people who are known to have lost their lives as a result of Storm Alex has risen to seven. The body of a man found in Lantosque at the weekend has now been officially identified as that of 77 year old Gerard Ibars who went missing from his house in Saint-Martin-Vesubie during the storm. Eleven people, including M. Ibar's wife Monique, still remain missing.
Earlier today local elected officials, including Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi and Alpes Maritimes deputy Eric Ciotti, attended a meeting to take stock of the current situation regarding reconstruction after the storm. This morning the mayor also visited a temporary water treatment plant which has just been installed in the village of Roquebillière.
Several roads in the centre of Paris, including the Champs Elysees and the Place de l'Etoile, were cordened off and cleared of traffic because of a security alert ths afternoon. Trains on several metro lines and some RER services were also disrupted. According to media reports quoting police sources, the alert followed the discovery of a suspicious bag.
In Marseille, the rue d'Aubagne has reopened. Eight people lost their lives when two buildings on the street collapsed in November 2018. The street is currently open for pedestrians only and is expected to re-open to vehicles early next year. The collapse of the buildings led to the re-homing of about 4,500 people from over 570 buildings in Marseille which were deemed to be unsafe.
Energy company BP has announced a profit of 86 million dollars for the July to September quarter. In the previous quarter it made a loss of 6.7 billion dollars. The company said that compared to the previous quarter, the result benefitted from the absence of significant exploration write-offs and recovering oil and gas prices and demand. Earlier this year BP said it planned to reduce its carbon emissions with the aim of being "net zero" by 2050. BP has also announced a partnership with Microsoft under which the two companies will co-operate to progress their sustainability aims.
The unemployment rate in Spain has risen to just over 16 per cent in the July to September quarter. The figure, published by Spain's statistics body INE, doesn't include furloughed workers. The number of unemployed people in Spain stood at 3.72 millon in the quarter.
UK hospitality business Whitbread has announced a loss of 725 million pounds in the first half of the year. It made a profit of 220 million pounds in the same period last year. Revenues fell from over one billion pounds in the first half of 2019 to about 250 million pounds.
Rugby Union... It's been announced that fly-half Matthieu Jalibert will be playing for France in their match against Ireland on Saturday. He replaces winger Teddy Thomas who's suffering from a hamstring injury. Ireland can win the Six Nations title if they can get a bonus-point victory against France.
Football... There are 8 more European Champions League group games tonight including Marseilles against Manchester City in Group C and Liverpool against Danish club FC Midtjylland in Group D.
The president of Fifa, Gianni Infantino, has tested positive for covid-19. Fifa said that the 50 year old has mild symptoms and is self-isolating.