French and Riviera News Tuesday 5th May 2020

France passes 25,000 deaths from coronavirus - With an additional 306 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours France has passed the 25,000 mark with 25,201 deaths since the start of the epidemic. Health authorities have confirmed that to date, 131,863 people had been diagnosed with the virus since the start of the pandemic, 51,371 patients have been cured and 25,548 people remain hospitalized.

Regional - 11 new deaths were reported in the Alpes Maritimes region on Monday, one of the highest numbers of daily casualties from the virus since April 20th. To date the coronavirus has claimed 208 lives in the Alpes Maritimes and 207 in the Var. In Monaco no new cases were reported on Monday May 4th, with the number of cases still standing at 95 and 78 patients have recovered.

Monaco calls to “consume Monegasque” - The government and the National Council in Monaco have asked residents to “consume Monegasque” in order to revive the economy which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. According to the government and the elected officials, the people of Monaco are encouraged to consume as much as possible in local shops and to solicit as much as possible in future Monegasque businesses.

European Union call for donations - Meanwhile on Monday May 4th, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, responded in a video message, to the call for donations for funds raised by the European Union with the objective to reach 7.5 billion euros in order to help develop and provide effective testing, treatments and a vaccine available worldwide at an affordable price. The Principality of Monaco has decided to participate in the call for donations launched by the European Union in order to provide a global response to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Masks compulsory on all Air France flights - Air France has announced that from May 11th masks will be made obligatory on all flights operated by the airline. The move is part of several security measures being introduced to prevent the spread of the virus, as France progressively end the lockdown.

Free on-street parking - The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has said that free on-street parking will be maintained in Nice until June 30. He said that this was to help revive commerce in the city.

End of lockdown - As the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region remains classified as “green” according to the most recent daily update, on Monday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented further details of deconfinement measures to the Senate. The Prime Minister said that May 11th "will not be the start of recklessness, it will be the start of recovery". He said that the deconfinement map of France will now be reduced to two colours - red and green - as the government had clarified those areas where the status was in doubt and that the map would continue to be updated daily. The Prime Minister said that "economic life must resume quickly" and 52 guides had been produced for businesses. All sectors will have them available by May 11th. He confirmed that schools would re-open on a gradual and voluntary basis and that masks would be provided for national education staff and secondary school students but masks for those students would only be compulsory if social distancing rules weren't being observed. He said that "if the health situation does not deteriorate" during the first weeks of deconfinement, the government will examine the possibility of religious services resuming from May 29th.

Amazon - Online retailer Amazon has said that it's had a request for partial unemployment refused by the French government. The Ministry of Labour confirmed the refusal. The request was to cover 10,000 employees at six Amazon sites in France. Amazon has suspended its delivery operations in France following a court decision last week.

European clinical trial results expected on Thursday - French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that the results of the European clinical trial Discovery, aimed at finding an effective anti-viral against Covid-19 would be known on Thursday, May 14th. The large-scale European study, which started on March 22nd, is testing several molecules in the hope of finding an effective antiviral against Covid-19. The aim is to test four potential treatments, including the controversial hydroxychloroquine, on 3,200 patients in Europe, including at least 700 in France. These are only hospitalized and severely ill patients. Multiple treatments for Covid-19 are being evaluated in Asia, Europe and the United States, but the results of large clinical trials with placebo are the most awaited, including Discovery in Europe.

Head of State to visit primary school this morning - Meanwhile this morning the Head of State, is to visit a primary school in Poissy, in the Yvelines. The visit will include an exchange between the President and mayors of the department by video conference, on the question of reopening schools as part of the end of the lockdown on May 11th. Many doubts surround the organisation of the return to school. On Sunday, the association of the mayors of Ile-de-France wrote to Emmanuel Macron asking him to postpone the reopening of schools to a later date.

Domestic Violence - During the lockdown, calls made in France to the helpline 3919 by victims of domestic violence almost doubled. 9,906 calls were answered in April 2020, compared to 5,098 calls in April of last year. During the lockdown the 3919 helpline was used between 300 and 400 times a day, against an average of 200 times a day in normal times.

Petitions calling for beaches to reopen - Several petitions have been launched requesting the reopening of beaches from May 11th. Despite the progressive end of the lockdown planned for May 11th, in France beaches are to remain closed at least until June 1st, according to the Prime Minister on April 28th. Many local elected officials along the French coast are requesting the reopening in those regions classified as “green” suggesting that a “gradual reopening while respecting health regulations would possibly avoid a rush of people when they do eventually open in the summer”.

Mother gives birth at Carrefour in Antibes – In other news, a mother has given birth to a baby boy at the Carrefour shopping centre in Antibes. Emergency services intervened shortly after 7.40pm ensuring that the birth took place in the best possible conditions in the middle of a shopping aisle. Both mother and child were later taken to hospital.

Business

Asian stocks have risen this morning tracking a late Wall Street rally as governments around the world eased lockdowns and oil rose on expectations that fuel demand would start to pick up. Brent crude was up by 4.3% a little earlier this morning at 28 dollars 37 while US crude rose by 1.4% to 21 dollars 77. Analysts say that the market continues to price in the idea that things are improving although the future for aviation looks bleak with major airline stocks all declining again. The upturn on Wall Street on Monday came on the back of more optimistic statements from the governors of California and New York for the reopening of businesses. However, continuing tension between the United States and China dragged European stocks down on Monday with investors looking carefully at the latest statements coming out of Washington and Beijing.

The United States says that it wants to borrow a record 3 trillion dollars in the second quarter as coronavirus-related rescue packages result in spiraling budget requirements. The money is 5 times the previous quarterly record which was set at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. In the whole of 2019, the US government borrowed 1.28 trillion dollars. So far this year, the government has approved around 3 trillion dollars in virus-related relief including health funding and direct payouts. Total US government debt is now standing at nearly 25 trillion dollars. The US borrows by selling bonds and has enjoyed relatively low interest rates since its debt is viewed as relatively low risk by investors. However, the debt load has been climbing toward levels that many experts consider risky for long-term growth with the country spending more than it takes in.

General Electric is to cut up to a quarter of its aviation business staff as demand for air travel plunges due to the coronavirus pandemic. GE had already announced a 10% cut in its aviation workforce but says that more is required. The potential 13,000 job cuts at GE which makes engines for companies including Boeing and Airbus comes shortly after its aviation unit revealed that profits had fallen by 40% in the first quarter. The firm currently employs 52,000 people in 19 countries and last week told investors that it had suffered a 1 billion dollar hit to its business due to the pandemic.

Sport

Football - A number of English Premier League doctors have expressed reservations about restarting the season. One of the major issues is the seeking of assurances by doctors over their own liability and insurance cover if players contract the coronavirus. The Premier League has now been asked to provide clarity over medical protocols, testing and player welfare. The League is still hopeful of a potential resumption in matches on the 8th June.

American Football - The legendary Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula has died at the age of 90. Shula guided the Dolphins to successive Super Bowl victories in the 1970s and holds the record for the most career wins as an NFL coach with 347. In 1972 he guided the team to a perfect season winning all 14 regular season games, two playoffs and then beating the Washington Redskins to win his first Super Bowl.

Formula 1 - The sport’s bosses are to meet later this week to discuss a reduction in the budget cap for 2021 to 145 million dollars. The new level was agreed following a meeting on Monday between the Formula 1 chairman Chase Carey, managing director Ross Brawn and the FIA president Jean Todt. The sport is also closing in on plans to start the 2020 season in Austria in July. All staff would be tested for coronavirus before travelling to circuits and would undergo tests every 2 days while at race events.

Golf - Rory McIlroy will lead the sport’s return in a televised match in Florida next week. McIlroy will partner Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolfe in a 4 million dollar skins game on the 17th May in aid of Covid-19 charities. The event has the backing of the PGA tour and is being seen as a first tentative step to get golf back on the road. There has been no professional golf played since the Players Championship was abandoned after the first round on the 12th March.

Weather

Partially cloudy with light westerly winds. Top temperature 22 degrees. Overnight lows of 15 degrees with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday - Mainly fine with highs of 19-23 degrees.

Last local news

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

French and Riviera News Tuesday 1st December 2020

The rail network between Breil-sur-Roya and Tende will resume service before the end of January. Damaged by Storm Alex the state announced on Monday t... French and Riviera News Tuesday 1st December 2020 Read More

01/12/2020