French and Riviera News Monday 25th May 2020

Coronavirus – One person has died from coronavirus in the Alpes Maritimes region according to figures released on Sunday, bringing the total number of lives claimed by the virus in the region to 244. 133 people are still hospitalized and 11 are still in intensive care.

In the Var, the number of deaths to date stands at 222 with 163 patients hospitalized.

No new cases were reported in Monaco on Sunday. To date 98 people have been affected by the coronavirus in the Principality. 90 people have recovered, and two patients are in intensive care.

Testing in Monaco - The Covid-19 testing programme for Monaco residents continues this week at both the Espace Léo Ferré or the Grimaldi Forum. Opening hours are 8am and 6pm. Testing is on a voluntary basis and is free of charge but remember to take your Monaco residence or identity card. You can get further information in English at covid19.mc

National - On a national level in France, 121 new patients were admitted to hospital, in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of people hospitalised to 17,185, a slight rise since mid-April. The latest figures for the number of deaths from the virus was not given, a figure is expected to be released later today.

1655 patients are currently in intensive care and since the start of the epidemic, 100,340 people have been hospitalized, including 17,725 in intensive care. 64,617 people returned home.

Surgical masks and latex gloves found floating in the sea - The “Operation Clean Sea” association has announced its concern over the number of surgical masks and latex gloves found floating in the waters of the French Riviera.

The concern is growing within environmental associations. In recent days, surgical masks and latex gloves have been found off the French Riviera.

Founder of the association Laurent Lombard, said that after carrying out a clean up campaign in the bay of Golfe Juan 200 litres of various waste was collected, including five disposable surgical masks and four latex gloves.

Lombard has called for citizens to act responsibly as local MPs look set to implement tougher measures with fines of 300 euros to stop people from discarding of masks irresponsibly.  

Scam - Police have warned of a scam  in Vallauris in the Alpes Maritimes. Several elderly people have been approached by individuals posing as inspectors from the Regional Health Agency, offering to carry out tests in their homes to detect the potential presence of Covid-19.

Anyone who may have been approached is advised to contact the town hall or the local police on 04.93.64.30.31.

Virtual 24 Heures Du Mans - Princess Charlene of Monaco has presented her team for the virtual 24 Heures du Mans which takes place on June 13th and 14th. 50 cars are set to participate in the first virtual version of the race. It was in June last year that H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco officially launched the 87th edition in front of more than 250,000 spectators.

Launched in 2012, the Princess Charlene of Monaco foundation's priority objective is to save lives by teaching children to swim and avoid drowning. Its actions are also based on the values ​​of sport such as discipline, respect for oneself and for others, as well as team spirit.

Cancellation of three billion euros worth of social security contributions for businesses - The French government has announced the cancellation of three billion euros worth of social security contributions for businesses which have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis, notably in the restaurant, tourism, culture and sport sectors.

Since the lockdown began on 17 March in France, most companies and shops have had to close temporarily, many resorting to what is known as "technical unemployment" whereby the government steps in and helps pay workers' salaries. The Finance ministry has outlined that the newly announced relief measures will help companies which lost income during the imposed lockdown period.

Warning from the director of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control about a second wave – The director of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has warned that “it is not a question of if there will be a new wave of the coronavirus but when”.

As many countries have started an easing on lockdown measures, Andrea Ammon, said Europe must prepare for a second wave of the Covid-19.  Ammon added that "The virus is around us, circulating much more than in January and February", stressing “that the figures concerning the immunity of the population were not encouraging: "85% to 90%" remain exposed to Covid-19 disease”.

While Andrea Ammon said she “didn’t want to paint a disastrous image, we have to be realistic and now is not the time to completely relax”

While many European countries have started to lift restrictions on deconfinement, Andrea Ammon believes that a second wave will not necessarily be disastrous if people continue to follow the rules of distancing.

Business

A proposed 9 billion euro rescue of Lufthansa by the German government is being slowed by discussions on how to gain swift European Union approval for the plan.

One of the major sticking points is a timetable for the German government to withdraw from a direct stake that its planning to take in Europe’s largest airline.

Media reports suggest that Lufthansa would be given a three year deadline to repay the aid package.

The rescue deal would make the German government the largest shareholder.

The state had intended to make a formal offer this weekend but talks between Germany ,Lufthansa and the European Commission are holding up the plan.

A meeting of the Lufthansa  board has also been put back from today until Tuesday.

 

The British government has said that it’s ready to rescue large firms which have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The so called “Project Birch” bailout plan was first mentioned in Parliament last week by the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps with a particular view to the aviation industry.

The Financial Times reports that the state could take stakes in many large companies although the Treasury has insisted that bailouts will only be considered as a “last resort”.

On Saturday ,media reports said that Tata Steel had approached both the Welsh and UK governments for financial aid that could run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

It’s thought that the firm needs some 500 million pounds to survive the pandemic.

The FT also said that UK aviation chiefs have been asking the government for a “long-term investment facility” that would help to support supply chains.

 

And-Industry leaders have warned that the UK risks being “left behind” unless it quickly agrees to air bridge deals with other countries.

Business groups have written to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to say that a 14 day quarantine on all air passengers arriving in the UK will have serious consequences for the economy.

The 14 day quarantine rules are due to come into force on the 8th of June but business leaders say that they should be relaxed with low-risk countries.

Air-bridges would allow visitors from countries where coronavirus infection rates are low into the UK without having to self-isolate for 2 weeks.

Sport

Football-Bayern Munich remain 4 points clear at the top of the German Bundesliga after the latest round of games.

Bayern beat Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 on Saturday to remain 4 points clear of Borussia Dortmund who were 2-0 winners at Wolfsburg.

 

Tennis-The director of the French Open has said that there is optimism that the tournament will be able to go ahead in the autumn.

Guy Forget says that he’s not resigned to having the tournament played behind closed doors and hopes to “welcome as many people as possible”.

Forget said that things were moving in a positive direction and that Roland Garros would adapt to whatever the government decides.

 

Rugby Union-The England and Saracens lock George Kruis is to move to the Japanese Top League side Panasonic Wild Nights at the end of the season.

The 30 year old has been at Saracens for 11 years and the move calls into question his international future.

Kruis said that it had been a hard decision but that he was “extremely excited” about the move.

The English Rugby Football Union does not select English players based overseas except for in “exceptional circumstances”.

Kruis has won 45 England caps since making his international debut in 2014.

 

Golf-Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning have beaten Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in a game to raise money for Covid-19 relief efforts in the United States.

The two golfing greats teamed up with legends of the NFL for the match at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound.

Woods and Manning ended 1UP on Mickelson and Brady at the final hole.

The American football stars made several cavalier shots in rainy conditions.

Television viewers were invited to donate to the Covid-19 relief fund during the match and by the end of the broadcast more than 20 million dollars had been raised.

Weather

Mainly fine with light south westerly winds.

Top temperatures 25-27 degrees.

Overnight lows of 19 degrees on the coast and 15 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Mainly fine with highs of 24-27 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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