French and Riviera News Wednesday 30th December 2020

News

“No lockdown at this stage, curfew moved forward for some regions” - Following the French government’s defence council meeting on Tuesday, Health Minister Olivier Véran has announced that while there will be no third lockdown at this stage, there may be a possible extension of the curfew from 6pm in certain regions.

Speaking on France 2 on Tuesday evening Véran said that the scientific council feared a “probable” “uncontrolled” resumption of Covid in January, following the end of year holidays. The minister announced a possible curfew from 6pm instead of the current 8pm for certain regions starting from January 2nd.

The regions which could introduce the new measure are the Grand Est, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, the Alpes-Maritimes and even the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, where the epidemic worries the authorities.  Elected officials for these departments are still to meet with the government to confirm the 6pm curfew which would come into force on Saturday 2nd January and according to the Health Minister would “last as long as necessary”.

As far as the reopening of cultural places such as cinemas, theaters or museums and also ski lifts scheduled for January 7th and restaurants planned to reopen on the 20th the minister said it was “difficult to conceive at this stage the lifting of all restrictions” adding that a decision would be announced in the course of the week.

Finally concerning the vaccination programme in France which some have criticised as “slow” the minister assumed and assured that the schedule would be respected and that as planned the vaccine would be available, by the end of January to “health professionals aged 50 and over”.

Alpes Maritimes Covid cases – Meanwhile the regional health authority has reported that 34 people have died from Covid in the Alpes Maritimes since Christmas; 26 in hospital and 8 in nursing homes.

The number of Patients being hospitalised with Covid-19 is down slightly in the Alpes-Maritimes at 223 that’s seven less less than the day before. Admissions to intensive care have increased slightly with 4 additional patients and the positivity rate (percentage of people positive for Covid out of the number of people tested) fell in the Alpes-Maritimes and stands at 4.7% compared to 5.6% the day before.

On a national level 11,395 new cases of Covid were identified in France in the past 24 hours with 969 deaths. There were 1,625 new hospitalizations and 2,675 admissions to intensive care.

Covid-19 Monaco – In Monaco 24 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported on Tuesday bringing the total number of residents affected to 827. Twelve people are currently hospitalised and 67 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Antibes Juan les Pins- Meanwhile Antibes Juan les Pins has released its weekly figures for Covid-19 at the Hospital Center. In the period from December 21 to 27, there were 36 hospitalized patients including 4 in intensive care. There were 4 deaths of patients ranging in age from 50 to 91 years old.

Vaccination website - Sante Publique France has launched a new area on its vaccination website to provide information to the public about coronavirus vaccines. The site now provides details of the available coronavirus vaccines as well as information on possible side effects and a wide range of other vaccine information. The website address is www.https://vaccination-info-service.fr

Federation of French traders – The Conseil du Commerce de France, which represents various federations of French traders, has said that twenty to thirty per cent of traders in non-essential sectors will have difficulty reopening and continuing with their activities. Speaking to French media this morning, the organization's president said that this was particularly the case for those businesses involved in selling clothing. He added that although revenue for the week when Black Friday took place at the end of November was good, revenue in December didn't compensate for lost revenue in November.

France’s population - According to the latest census figures published on Tuesday by INSEE the population of France is increasing at a slower pace. France had 66.73 million inhabitants on January 1st, 2018. Between 2013 and 2018, the average population growth was 0.4% per year, compared to 0.5% per year over the previous reference period. The number of inhabitants continues to grow, but at a slower pace. However, there is an exception in the Guyana and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region where between 2013 and 2018, the annual population growth rate increased compared to the previous five years.

Hottest year on record - 2020 has been the hottest year on record in France according to Météo France. France beat previous records of 2018 and 2014 with an average temperature of 14 degrees for the whole country. Météo France had already in mid-December, estimated the record but were still awaiting on data for December to confirm. Despite a "rather cool" beginning and end of December, the month ended up being rather mild on average and didn’t reverse the trend.

Of the 120 years since national averages were measured, nine of the ten warmest years are in the 21st century and seven in the last decade. The World Weather Organization estimates that 2020 is expected to be one of the three hottest years on record.

Pierre Cardin dies aged 98 - French fashion designer Pierre Cardin has died aged 98. Hailed for his visionary creations but also for bringing stylish clothes to the masses, Cardin, who was born to a low-income family in northern Italy became a France-based fashion superstar. He grew up in the French industrial town of Saint Etienne and was apprenticed to a tailor in Vichy at the age of 17, already specialising in women's suits. Moving to Paris, he designed the mesmerising sets and costumes for the film "Beauty and the Beast" with poet, artist and director Jean Cocteau in 1947. After a stint with Christian Dior, he had already set up his own fashion label in 1950. Pierre Cardin died on Tuesday in a hospital west of Paris.

Business

An American Airlines' flight on Tuesday showed its confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX. Boeing’s 737 MAX has resumed passenger flights in the US with an American Airlines flight between Miami and New York. Regulators had grounded the plane in March 2019 following two separate deadly crashes within five months. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifted the ban last month after Boeing agreed to new safeguards.

According to new rules causing concern for the British Meat Processors Association raw sausages and other minced meats can no longer be exported to the EU from 1st January. The guidance is part of the post-Brexit trade deal agreed between the UK and the EU last week. Meat industry bodies attended a conference call with ministers on Tuesday to seek clarification about the issue which is causing concern.

And – The rocketing share price of Tesla has created an army of millionaires - self-named 'Teslanaires'. Shares in Elon Musk's electric car firm have risen more than 700% during 2020 to become the world's most valuable car company. In what is described as a roller-coaster ride for long-term investors for those who have stuck with Tesla it has nevertheless, been a very wealthy journey.

Sport

Football – The boss of West Brom Sam Allardyce, says football needs a break after the Premier League returned its highest number of positive coronavirus results in a single round of tests this season. In this evening’s Premier League Tottenham play Fulham and Newcastle face Liverpool.

Rugby Union – Wales’s Jake Ball will quit international rugby to be with his family in Australia at the end of the season. His wife, Christie, gave birth to their fourth child in Australia in November. Ball, 29, has won 49 Wales caps since his 2014 debut and impressed as one of the leading forwards during the autumn. Ball said, "It has been a difficult decision to make but one I have made for the family”.

Tennis - The ATP has announced that the Indian Wells tournament, scheduled to take place in California in March 2021, has been postponed over coronavirus concerns. The tournament, a combined ATP and WTA event which is one of the biggest and most prestigious outside of the Grand Slams, was cancelled in 2020.

Weather

Highs of 11 degrees with sunny intervals in Nice, Cagnes sur mer and Juan Les Pins with a gentle breeze. Clear skies with gusty winds in the Var. In Vence, La Colle sur Loup and Grasse highs of 10 degrees and sunny.

This evening going down to 1 degree along the coast and -3 degrees in land with clear skies.

The outlook for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day highs of 12 degrees and mainly sunny showers however by the end of the afternoon in the Var on New Year’s Eve, reaching the Alpes Maritimes on New Year’s Day.

 

 

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