Lunchtime News Monday 24th August 2020

Local

Nice tramway to be extended to Drap - The Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolis has announced that line 1 of the tramway is to be extended to Drap by 2026.

The line would be extended passing through L’Ariane before joining La Trinité then Drap. The demand for the extension has been for years, claimed by the 43,000 inhabitants of the Paillon valley. An increasingly urbanized valley where there are daily traffic jams at rush hour and it is not uncommon for motorists to get stuck in their car for an hour, or more.

Health authorities warn of an increase of Covid-19 in Marseille - As health authorities warn of the increase of coronavirus in Marseille several measures have been taken in the second largest French city.

The Bouches-du-Rhône department has been classified as a "active Covid-19 zone" with “the circulation of the virus intensifying, especially among young people”.

Speaking on Sunday France’s health minister Olivier Véran, said that there is “once again an increase in admissions to hospital and intensive care in the Bouches du Rhone." Adding that while the number patients being hospitalized, even if it remains low, has nevertheless doubled in ten days",

In the past seven days, 2,866 people have tested positive in the department.

According to the minister, the virus is currently circulating "four times more among those under 40 than among those over 65", a younger population therefore less at risk. But it is difficult to contain Covid-19 to just a few generations, and the region has seen “for three weeks that positive tests have been increasing among seniors," said Olivier Véran with the older population more likely to develop serious cases, and therefore to be hospitalized, or placed in intensive care.

The wearing of a mask has been made compulsory in the city and the mayor of Marseille Michele Rubirola also announced plans to set up free screenings across the city.

The prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône will hold a press conference at 2:30pm today in Marseille and plans to announce new measures which could reportedly include the closure of some indoor places, the closure of bars after 8pm and even a limitation on travel all of which are currently being considered by the authorities.

Back to school with Covid-19 - The president of the scientific council Jean-François Delfraissy has said that contaminations of Covid-19 in schools are likely in the coming weeks. However, they would be "under control".

Meanwhile one week before children return to school in France the education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer wants to reassure Parents  speaking this morning the Minister of National Education assured French media that France would be ready to welcome its 12 million students and that the country had "one of the strictest health protocols in Europe."

National

Health protocol at work - According to a recent poll carried out by Qapa the French are afraid to go back to work for fear of catching Covid-19 with 66% of respondents believing that keeping more than a metre of distance between people is impossible.

56% fear returning to work because of the risk of contamination a fear which is justified as according to Public Health France, figures show that 24% of clusters identified since May have been formed in companies.

25% of employees say they are ready to wear a mask. And 37% of those polled say they are ready to wear it if it is mandatory. 26% do not intend to comply with this obligation. Refusal can be considered as a fault by the employer and lead to sanctions.

 

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