Evening Update Tuesday 31 March 2020

It's been confirmed that fifteen residents of a retirement home in Mougins have died as a result of Covid-19. The PACA Regional Health Agency made the announcement today. The first death was on the 20th of March.

The Alpes-Maritimes Prefecture has this afternoon announced an extension to the curfew until April 15, which brings it into line with the current confinement date. Monaco is expected to implement the same provisions.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, hs said that a coronavirus "consultation centre" will open at the stade Vauban tomorrow. The aim of the facility will be to enable people suspected of having covid-19 to be examined by a health professional. From there, people could be redirected towards hospital or a drive-in testing centre. An appointment will be necessary before attending the stadium.

Cagnes-sur-Mer is the latest municipality on the Riviera to open drive-in coronavirus testing centres. Two local laboratories have opened drive-in facilities enabling those being tested to remain in their cars while tests are carried out. An appropriate prescription from a doctor is required before attending.

A health official in Marseille has said that the Alpes-Maritimes department "is the least affected regionally" by the coronavirus epidemic. According to figures released yesterday, 20 patients have died from Covid-19 in the Alpes-Maritimes and 18 in the Var.

Bernard Gonzalez, the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes, has announced the list of markets which will be allowed to open in the department. They include markets in Beaulieu sur Mer, Roquebrune Cap Martin, Eze, Villeneuve Loubet and Theoule sur Mer. The Condamine market in Monaco is also open. Generally in France, markets have been required to close but local prefects have the power to sanction the opening of certain markets in their department. Meanwhile, the municiality of Antibes has produced a list of local shops which are open. You can find the details at http://www.antibes-juanlespins.com/covid-19/covid-19/commercants-livreurs

Another major event on the Riviera calendar has been cancelled. The Midem international music industry event, which was due to take place in Cannes from the 2nd to the 5th of June. The next Midem is now scheduled for June 1 to 4, 2021.

The public hospitals in Paris have said that 38 coronavirus patients are going to be transferred to other facilities outside the Ile-de-France tomorrow. The patients will be transported by TGV but their destinations haven't been made public at this stage. The move is being made because resuscitation capabilities in Paris hospitals are reaching saturation point, with 870 Covid-19 sufferers in intensive care.

A group of student nurses in the Var have set up a mask refurbishing operation. They are refurbishing and sending out about 15,000 FFP2 masks per day and have already sent out 70,000 masks.

In other news, reports say that new dates have been decided for the trial of those alleged to have been involved in the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in 2015. The trial was originally set to begin on May 4, but has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak and will now take place from September 2 to November 10.

 

BUSINESS

British Airways has announced the temporary suspension of flights at Gatwick Airport. According to an email seen by the BBC, the airline told staff it was facing a challenging market environment in "unprecedented circumstances". The airline said it would contact customers to "discuss their options".

Advertising giant WPP has announced a plan to make savings of 2 billion dollars. The company has decided not to pay out a final dividend and has halted a share buyback scheme. It said that 95% of it's global workforce of about 107,000 people is working from home.

New figures show that UK shoppers made nearly 80 million extra trips to supermarkets in a recent four week period. Research from Nielsen shows that Britons spent almost 2 billion pounds more on food and drink from 24 February to 21 March than in the same period last year.

Some US workers at Amazon and US food delivery firm Instacart are reportedly threatening strikes, and have accused the firms of not providing proper protection from the coronavirus. US senators have also written to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to express their concerns. The companies have said they are taking extra precautions.

 

SPORT

Premier League and English Football League clubs are discussing a collective wage deferral agreement at a meeting with the Professional Footballers' Association today. The proposal is one option to help clubs facing financial struggles during the coronavirus crisis. It's been announced that Tottenham's 550 non-playing staff will take a 20% pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic.

Scotland Rugby head coach Gregor Townsend is to take a 25% wage deferral as part of a series of measures during the coronavirus pandemic. He and his counterparts at Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh, Dave Rennie and Richard Cockerill, have agreed to the same measures from April until the end of August 2020.

 

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