Evening Update Wednesday 3 June 2020

There have been tailbacks of traffic at the Italian border crossing on the coast today as Italy reopens its EU borders. The delays have largely resulted from document checks by French authorities on traffic crossing from Italy. There has also been some confusion as to whether trips to Italy followed by a return to France are permitted from the French side of the border. Authorities have said that while Italy has opened its external borders, French borders are still officially closed until at least 15 June. Therefore, anyone returning from Italy to France may still have to prove residence by producing a recent utility bill and an identity document and be required to carry an authorisation permit giving a valid reason for international travel. Forms and more information are available on the French Interior Ministry website.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has said that restaurants which don't have a terrace may be able to organize entertainment evenings by closing certain traffic lanes in coordination with city authorities. He said that restaurants which do have terraces can extend them where possible, subject to respecting certain principles, in particular regarding fire safety, pedestrian access, the rights of third parties and respect for the neighborhood in terms of noise and nuisance. After signing an agreement, those terrace extensions will be authorized until the end of September.

Event workers have staged a demonstration in Nice this morning. Those protesting included caterers, drivers and other personnel who have been facing reduced incomes because of the cancellation of the cultural, sporting and business meetings at which they usually earn their living. About 150 people gathered to protest on the Place Massena, while observing social distancing.

Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, has said that President Macron wants the government to work on a plan to support small businesses, crafts and the self-employed. Speaking in an interview this morning, she said that the aim was to have the plan prepared by early July.

Voluntary Covid-19 testing is continuing for employees in Monaco. If your surname begins with the letter C, you can go to the Grimaldi Forum tomorrow, June 4, and if it's the letter D, testing is on Friday June 5 at the Grimaldi Forum. Yor're reminded not to forget your proof of employment, your ID and your mask.

The body of a man was found on the Cap d'Antibes this morning. Reports say that an 87 year old local fisherman was found in the water at Port Salis. He was suffering from head injuries. An investigation is underway.

Meteo France have a yellow weather warning in operation for storms in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var until 3pm tomorrow, Thursday. There's also a yellow warning in both departments for heavy rain and flooding from 9am to 3pm tomorrow.
 

BUSINESS

Video conferencing company Zoom has reported a large increase in revenue. For the three months to the end of April revenue was 328 million dollars, a rise of 169% from the same period last year. The company's products have been widely used by both businneses and domestic users during the coronavirus crisis. At it's peak during April, the company said there were 300 million people attending Zoom meetings on one day.

Th French government has finalised a five billion euro loan to Renault. The loan is being made by a group of banks and the French state is guaranteeing 90% of the amount. Renault announced a comprehensive restructuring plan last week involving a two billion euro reduction in costs and 15,000 job losses. Reports today say that employees at a French factory earmarked for closure in the plan have returned to work today after being on strike yesterday.

New data released today shows that unemployment in the EU increased by 241,000 from March to April. The figures from the EU's statistics body Eurostat indicate the unemployment rate rose to 6.6% in April. Younger people were significantly affected by the coronavirus crisis with the EU youth unemployment figure rising to 15.4% in April.

London City Airport has announced plans to restart commercial operations from the end of June. The airport expects to begin domestic services within the UK first.  International flights are expected to follow in early July, although the airport said that the exact timing may depend on the proposed quarantine of passengers arriving into the UK. Operations at London City were suspended on March 25th.

Official data released today shows that the Swiss economy contracted by 2.6% during the first quarter of this year compared to the previous three months. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs has estimated that Swiss GDP may fall by 6.7% this year, which would be the biggest contraction since the 1970's.

 

SPORT

Football... The top French administrative court is due to hear an appeal by three League 1 sides tomorrow. The Council of State will begin its hearing of an appeal by Lyon, Amiens and Toulouse against the decision to stop League 1 matches and decide league positions without further games being played this season.

Manchester City have reminded midfielder Phil Foden of his responsibilities after he appeared to break guidelines by playing football on a beach at the weekend. Premier League players have resumed contact training with their clubs but have been told to maintain social distancing at all other times.

Cricket... Three West Indies players have decided not to travel to England for next month's Test series. Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo and Keemo Paul decided not to join the rest of the squad because of coronavirus concerns. West Indies are due to arrive in England next Tuesday and will be based at Emirates Old Trafford for initial quarantine and training.

Rugby... Several new rules are being introduced when Super Rugby resumes in New Zealand next week. The new rules, including a golden point decider if a match is tied after 80 minutes of regular time, are being introduced after consultation with coaches and players. The Highlanders are set to play the Chiefs in Dunedin on Saturday 13 June and the Blues play the Hurricanes in Auckland the following day.

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