French and Riviera News Wednesday 13th May 2020

17-year-old dies in bay of Villefranche sur mer - A 17-year-old schoolgirl has died in the bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer. The accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon, when a group of young girls were walking by the water’s edge and the victim was hit by a wave. Emergency services intervened early afternoon but were unable to revive the teenager who died at the scene.

Intensive care - Six coronavirus patients have left intensive care in hospitals in the Alpes Maritimes. The patients were discharged on Tuesday bringing the number of intensive care patients down from 21 to 15.

Figures show that the number of intensive care patients in both the Alpes Maritimes and the Var is at its lowest since March 23rd.

Coronavirus deaths - 3 new deaths have been registered in the Alpes Maritimes, bringing the total number in the region to 227 and 219 in the Var.

Monaco - No new Covid-19 cases were reported in Monaco on Tuesday and two more patients were reported to have recovered.

96 cases have been declared in the Principality. To date 5 patients are being treated by the Home Monitoring.

National – On a national level the toll of the coronavirus epidemic in France was up again on Tuesday evening with 348 additional deaths in 24 hours, but the number of patients in intensive care continues to drop, according to the France’s Health Minister.

Meanwhile four new small clusters of the coronavirus have been confirmed in several regions of France. The news comes as the country attempts to lift lockdown measures to stop the spread of the disease. Experts have warned that vigilance is of the essence.

Didier Raoult claims that Covid 19 epidemic is ending in France - Professor Didier Raoult has claimed, in an interview with Le Parisien, that “the Covid-19 epidemic is coming to an end” in France. According to the head of Marseille hospital, the slowing down of the virus in Marseille is due to the fact that they have carried out "systematic testing and treatment" on patients.

Professor Raoult says only one case of coronavirus was detected on Monday in Marseille, despite 1,200 people being tested. He concluded that while "A few sporadic cases will appear here or there; it no longer represents epidemic dynamics”.

Mayor of Mougins and masks - The mayor of Mougins, Richard Galy, has signed a municipal decree making it compulsory to wear a mask in areas with a high population density and a high number of visitors, near sensitive establishments and local council buildings. The town hall produced a map of the sectors concerned by the new measure, which can be found here https://mougins.fr/port-du-masque-obligatoire-dans-les-secteurs-tres-frequentes-a-mougins/

Lorgues - The town of Lorgues in the Var is distributing masks to residents at several points from today, Wednesday May 13, to Friday May 15 from 9:30 am to 6 pm without appointment. You can find further details on the website www.lorgues.fr

TGV trains - French Secretary of State for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, has said that reservations on TGV trains have been limited to 60% of capacity. He said that the 60% level had been chosen because it was a balance between not losing "too much money" and achieving health security.

As regards to air travel, he said that the French government had asked Air France to pay strict attention to limiting occupancy to 45 to 50% of capacity and said that only 2% of Air France planes are flying at the moment compared to normal.

Weather warning - Meteo France have issued a yellow weather warning for high winds in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes. The warning issued at 5am this morning will remain in place until 3pm this afternoon.

Cannes Film Festival – Tuesday would have been the opening day of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival and to mark the occasion a giant banner supporting carers has been displayed on the Palais des Festivals on the Croisette.

The Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, said that by installing the banner he wanted "to put caregivers at the top of the bill". He said his thoughts were also with all the artists as well as the employees of the hospitality establishments, the self-employed and entrepreneurs.

New app in Monaco - A new app has been launched to help businesses in Monaco and their customers. Users of the Carlo App can buy a gift voucher to be spent at participating businesses in the Principality. Until May 31st, 2020, for each euro spent on a gift voucher, the Monaco Government will add a sum equivalent to 10% . At the moment there are 46 participating shops and restaurants and over 2,000 people have signed up to use the app.  For details of how it works see their website https://carloapp.com/

Century 21 Lafage Transactions launches Toc toc, a first in France - An agency of Century 21 Lafage Transactions in the region has launched Toc toc! on TikTok. Benjamin Mondou of Century 21 Lafage Transactions decided to use the mobile video sharing application, a hit with young people to "keep in touch with customers, sellers and buyers in a less formal way than with a classic video visit’.

While the platform is not unfamiliar with the real estate industry, in other parts of the world in France this is a first. After three days, the video has already been viewed more than 10,000 times.

 

Business

Stocks and oil prices have been sliding in Asian trade this morning with investors fearing a second wave of coronavirus infections and deteriorating relations between the US and China also causing concern.

On Tuesday ,the leading US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci warned that prematurely lifting lockdowns across the country could lead to renewed outbreaks of the virus which has so far killed more than 80,000 Americans and brought the economy to a standstill.

Dr Fauci’s comments hammered stocks on Wall Street underlining fragile investor sentiment which has been swinging between optimism over the easing of lockdowns to anxiety about a fresh spike in virus cases.

Oil has fallen back this morning and treasury yields have also fallen ahead of a speech by the chair of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell and speculation that the United States could adopt negative interest rates at some point.

US stock futures were down in Asian trade and shares in Europe are expected to fall at the opening of the trading day.

The United States has reported a record 738 billion dollar budget deficit for April as an explosion in government spending and falling revenues amid the coronavirus pandemic pushed the country deep into the red.

The US Treasury Department said that the deficit for April is the first to show the enormity of authorised government spending in a bid to mitigate the economic effects of the crisis.

The previous record budget deficit for any month was 235 billion dollars in February of this year.

The fiscal year-to-date deficit has surged to 1.48 trillion dollars compared to 531 billion in the same period last year.

Congress has so far passed legislation authorising relief packages totaling 3 trillion dollars with democrats pushing hard for more money to be given to states struggling with the impact of the pandemic.

 

And-In the UK ,the government’s scheme to pay the wages of furloughed workers has been extended until October.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confirmed on Tuesday that employees would continue to receive 80 percent of their monthly wages up to a limit of 2,500 pounds.

However ,he said that the government would ask firms to start sharing the cost of the scheme from August.

A quarter of the UK workforce some 7.5 million people are now covered by the scheme which is costing 14 billion pounds a month.

Mr Sunak is to start to gradually reduce the cost of the scheme to the taxpayer but the full details are yet to be worked out.

Sport

Football-Tackling will be banned ,pitches disinfected and players restricted to groups of 5 when English Premier League clubs return to training.

Official protocols sent to players and clubs say that social distancing must be strictly observed and training sessions will be restricted to 75 minutes.

It’s hoped that training can resume on Monday with the possibility of matches starting again behind closed doors sometime in June.

 

Formula 1-Mercedes have said that they will take “into consideration” the news that Sebastian Vettel will be leaving Ferrari at the end of the season when deciding their driver line-up for 2021.

Vettel will leave Ferrari after failing to agree a new contract with reports saying that he was not prepared to accept a reduced salary.

Mercedes have won the last 6 constructors and drivers’ championships and appear to have a settled line-up of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo are the current favourites to fill the vacant seat at Ferrari with suggestions that Vettel might not be able to secure another drive.

 

Rugby Union-World Rugby has ruled that a try can no longer be scored by grounding the ball against the posts.

The sport’s global governing body says that the increasing size of post protectors for safety reasons has made it difficult for teams to legally defend the area.The change comes into force with immediate effect.

 

Racing-The Derby is set to stay at Epsom this year after the local council ruled that the event along with the Oaks can be held behind closed doors at the course.

The Jockey Club said that if the application was not approved then the race would have to be staged elsewhere.

Epsom and Ewell Council has now approved the application meaning that the big race and 6 others on the card including the Oaks can be staged on the same day behind closed doors on a Saturday in July or August.

Weather 

Partially cloudy with moderate to strong easterly winds -gusting at up to 70 km/h then dropping this afternoon.

Top temperature 21 degrees.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees on the coast and 13 degrees inland with cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Partially cloudy tomorrow with some rain overnight and into Friday.Then mainly fine. Highs of 19-21 degrees.

 

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