Lunchtime News Monday 22nd March 2021

News

Scientific Council warn that other regions could face lockdown in coming weeks - Members of the Scientific Council in France have warned that regions other than the 16 departments subject to new restrictions could soon find themselves in a "very difficult" situation, particularly the PACA and the Bouches de Rhones. Olivier Guérin from the University Hospital of Nice and a new member of the Scientific Council says "other departments or regions will probably experience restriction measures similar to those put in place in 16 departments in the coming weeks." In the Bouches-du-Rhône, an occupancy rate of intensive care beds is close to 100% and sometimes more, exceeding that of the first wave of May 2020, according to the CovidTracker site, when there were 1,181 people hospitalized simultaneously for Covid-19. Currently, 1,352 people are hospitalized.

Stores closed due to lockdown - Following the introduction of a four week lockdown in certain regions of France the list of stores able to open has continued to grow. Florists, booksellers, record stores, chocolate makers and hairdressers can open but beauty salons or clothes stores cannot. France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said he will study the situation on a case-by-case basis. Speaking on French radio this morning Le Marie added that “we will see if things can be improved”. The minister recalled that the closure of shops was decided to "limit the movement of people in closed places".

Regional elections - The president of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region Renaud Muselier is among ten regional presidents who have expressed their opposition to postponing the regional elections in France. In a petition ten regional heads have said that "all the elections are essential and that it is not for the Scientific Council to confine democracy” adding that “we know that it is possible to organise the voting as part of a very safe health protocol ". The regional elections in France are currently set for June 13th for the first round and June 20th for the second.

Cheers! - Despite the Covid pandemic the export sales of rosé wine produced in Provence has beaten previous records. Rosé wines produced in Provence achieved the best French performance for export in 2020 despite American taxes and the Covid crisis according to the Interprofessional Council of Wines of Provence (CIVP). Sales of Côte de Provence, Côteaux d'Aix-en-Provence and Côteaux Varois en Provence, increased in exports by 5.6% to 4.9 million cases of 12 bottles in 2020. Provençal rosés, whose star estates continue to attract investors, such as more recently the Chanel fashion house which has expanded on the island of Porquerolles in the Var, also slightly increased in value by 0.7% to around 297 million euros in 2020, according to the FEVS.

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