French and Riviera News. Friday July 17th 2020

Face Masks - There’s some confusion as to what constitutes a “closed public space” following the government’s decision to enforce the wearing of face masks  across the country from next week.

The measure has been introduced as cases of coronavirus rise in some parts of the country including the Mayenne department as well as in the Paris region and Marseilles.

Latest data shows that an extra 133 patients are receiving hospital treatment for the virus with 17 admitted to intensive care , a worrying increase from last week.

A closed public space is thought to take in shops and supermarkets ,government buildings , gyms and fitness centres ,cinemas and recreational attractions such as bowling alleys.

Fines of up to 135 euros could be dished out for non-compliance  with the government expected to issue further clarification shortly.

 

New cases - Fresh cases of coronavirus are worrying authorities in some parts of the country although the government has stressed that it has no intention of imposing a generalised lockdown again.

The French Health Minister Olivier Véran has called on “all people in France to remain particularly vigilant and active against the virus “.

The message is to wear a mask where appropriate , wash hands with soapy water regularly and maintain social distancing at all times.

Spikes in the virus have been confirmed in several regions of the country and Mr Véran also said that signs that Covid-19 is spreading again appear to be confirmed by increased calls to SOS Medecins and the SAMU emergency service.

The government is to step up its test and trace programme especially in areas where there have been spikes in new cases.

 

Holiday blues - The upturn in coronavirus cases comes as many French people are already on or preparing to go on their summer holidays.

Travel to overseas destinations this year is way down on last summer with the majority of people preferring to take a domestic holiday for safety reasons.

482 separate coronavirus clusters have been registered since the 9th of May with 8 new ones in the past 24 hours and 104 still not under control.

The reproduction rate “R” has now risen above 1 nationally for the first time since lockdown was lifted with some regions registering higher infection rates.

There is also concern about growing numbers of cases in the Nouvelle Aquitaine and Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur where new cases have been rising at an unacceptable level.

Reports say that many people are rushing to have tests before they leave on holiday or are seeking to be tested while they’re away.

 

In other news today.

 

Toulon brawl- Police in Toulon have arrested a suspect in connection with a brawl that broke out during the private sale of a motor vehicle on Wednesday.

Reports say that two people required hospital treatment as a result of the fighting which involved several individuals some of whom were armed with motorbike chains and other weapons.

The suspect was arrested outside his residence and is being questioned in police custody.

 

False alerts- Police in Antibes have advised residents on the chemin des Ames du Purgatoire to take normal security precautions despite a series of letters that have been placed in letter boxes warning that “burglaries are on the increase” in the area.

Authorities say that there’s been no noticeable increase in break-ins on the road and crime levels are “about the same” as last year.

Printed paper notes have been placed in letter boxes along the length of the road in recent days and police say that they have no idea who is responsible.

Residents have been advised to call 17 if they can identify who is behind the messages.

 

Ambush-Police and the fire service say that they’re being lured into ambushes at a council estate in Frejus.

Authorities say that they’ve been called out by local residents to deal with rubbish bins that have been set on fire ,only to be pelted with stones and other missiles on arrival.

Police have been forced to use tear gas to bring the situation under control and no arrests have been made.

The first of the incidents occurred following the seizure of a large quantity of drugs in the area on the 10th of July and there have been several more since.

The local police commissioner says that “there is no such thing as a no-go zone” and authorities will step in to restore order whenever necessary.

 

Fatal accident- A 60 year old motorcyclist has died after his bike collided with a post office van on the route de Puget-Ville at Pierrefeu in the Var.

Reports say that although the accident happened at a relatively low speed ,the victim went into cardiac arrest and couldn’t be saved by emergency services.

 

Wrong way Monsieur- A 57 year old Belgian driver who got lost in Monaco and ended up driving the wrong way between the boulevard Louis II and the place Sainte Devote has been handed a 15 day suspended jail term , two 45 euro fines and been banned from driving again in Monaco.

The man ,who appeared before the Monaco criminal tribunal in handcuffs ,admitted to drinking a litre of beer before driving  and said that he didn’t like delivering goods in the Principality.

He said that he found the entire situation “very stressful” and that he’d been trying to deliver his load in a 17 tonne truck to an address in Fontvielle before somehow ending up on the Formula 1  circuit in the wrong direction.

The offences were committed on Monday the 22nd of June this year and the prosecution recommended clemency because of the offender’s honesty in his admission of guilt.

 

Business.

 

US retail sales increased more than expected in June but rising cases of Covid-19 are still hampering the recovery.

Figures show that 32 million Americans are still claiming unemployment benefits with expectations that the economy suffered its deepest contraction in the second quarter since the Great Depression.

The US Federal Reserve has warned that the economic outlook remains “ highly uncertain” and depends on the length of the pandemic.

Retail sales rose by 7.5 percent in June having rebounded by 18.2 percent in May-the biggest gain since tracking started in 1992.

Sales have increased as businesses resumed trading after closing down in mid-March but receipts are expected to fall again this month as restrictions were reimplemented in several states owing to spiraling cases of Covid-19.

An extra 1.3 million workers filed for unemployment in the week ending July the 11th, down slightly from the previous week.

 

Shares in Twitter have fallen by more than 4 percent a day after hackers gained access to the social media giant’s internal servers to hijack the accounts of a number of prominent politicians ,celebrities , billionaires and companies.

Technology experts say that the hack is bad news for Twitter and will increase doubts over its reputation and reliability.

The company says that the hackers targeted employees with access to its internal systems and used the information to take control of many highly-visible accounts.

Twitter responded by temporarily preventing many verified accounts from publishing messages and launched an immediate investigation into how the breach had been allowed to happen.

Blockchain records show that the hackers managed to obtain more than 100,000 dollars worth of cryptocurrency before the problem was detected suggesting it was not the work of an organised outfit or a state operator.

 

And-A report by the British Chambers of Commerce has estimated that nearly a third of the country’s businesses are planning to make job cuts in the next three months as the government prepares to wind down its furlough scheme.

The BCC says that 29 percent of firms out of 7,400 surveyed plan to cut the size of their workforce between now and the middle of October.

If accurate ,it would be the largest percentage of companies planning to make redundancies since employment intention tracking started in 1989.

Companies with more than 250 staff are the most likely to be planning cuts.

The report comes as the number of people in paid employment fell by 650,000 since the onset of the coronavirus crisis in March.

 

Sport.

 

Cricket-England’s director of cricket Ashley Giles says that the breach of bio-secure protocols by bowler Jofra Archer could have cost “tens of millions of pounds”.

Archer has been dropped for the second Test against West Indies for visiting his home during the first Test and breaking the team’s bio-secure environment.

Giles says that the incident could have been disastrous for the English summer of cricket  and that he didn’t think the player had fully understood the requirements.

 

On the pitch ,England ended day 1 of the second Test at Old Trafford on 207-3 after a rain delayed start.Dom Sibley is on 86 not out with Ben Stokes 59 not out.

 

Football-There were four games in the English Premier League last night.Everton and Aston Villa drew 1-1.Leicester beat Sheffield United 2-0.Crystal Palace lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United and Southampton and Brighton drew 1-1.

 

There’s one game tonight with West Ham facing Watford in a relegation 6 pointer at the London Stadium.

 

In the English Championship Leeds beat Barnsley 1-0 to take them to one point away from promotion to the Premier League.

 

It’s FA Cup semi-finals weekend with Arsenal playing Manchester City tomorrow and Manchester United against Chelsea on Sunday.Both games are being played behind closed doors at Wembley.

 

Formula 1-Sebastian Vettel says that he’s in no hurry to make a decision about his future after being linked with a move to Racing Point next season.

The four time world champion who is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season says that “everything is still open”.

Newspaper reports have speculated that Vettel has already been offered a contract by Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll.

 

Golf-Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have both made solid starts in the opening round of the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

Tony Finau of the United States leads by one shot after firing a first round  66 on a blustery day with winds reaching 30 mph.

Woods registered a 1 under par 71 with McIlroy on 2 under.

 

Weather.

 

Partially cloudy with the chance of some afternoon showers and thunder-mainly inland.

Light to moderate easterly winds and highs of 26-30 degrees.

Overnight lows of 22 degrees on the coast and 19 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend-Sunshine and showers tomorrow-mainly fine on Sunday. Highs of 26-29 degrees.

Last local news

Evening Update Wednesday 2 December 2020

Prime Minister Jean Castex is set to announce the French government's Covid-19 vaccination plan at 6.30 tomorrow evening. ... Evening Update Wednesday 2 December 2020 Read More

02/12/2020

Lunchtime News Wednesday 2nd December 2020

A 65-year-old man has died after being hit by a delivery truck in Nice this morning. The accident occurred at the Eucalyptus technical high school. ... Lunchtime News Wednesday 2nd December 2020 Read More

02/12/2020

French and Riviera News Wednesday 2nd December 2020

“Don’t go skiing in Switzerland or Italy” is the message from French President Emmanuel Macron, who has announced plans to take “restrictive and diss... French and Riviera News Wednesday 2nd December 2020 Read More

02/12/2020

Evening Update Tuesday 1 December 2020

President Macron has said that a general public vaccination programme will take place "between April and June" after the vaccination of the most vulne... Evening Update Tuesday 1 December 2020 Read More

01/12/2020

Lunchtime News Tuesday 1st December 2020

Three teenagers have been injured, including two seriously, in a road accident this Tuesday morning involving a school bus in eastern France.... Lunchtime News Tuesday 1st December 2020 Read More

01/12/2020