Evening Update Friday 1 May 2020

The Regional Health Agency has said today that there have been no new deaths from the coronavirus in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes. This is the first time no new deaths have been reported since the start of daily updates from the Agency. The daily update figures cover deaths in hospitals and nursing homes. The Alpes Maritimes also reported 22 fewer people in hospital today as a result of the virus. The Var recorded an increase of one person in hospital since yesterday. 210 people are still being treated in hospital for the virus in the Alpes Maritimes and 246 in the Var.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has said that about 500 people per day are being fined for breach of the confinement rules in Nice. In an interveiw today, he said the figure had risen from about 300 per day two weeks ago. He asked the people of Nice to "pull themselves together" and said that efforts to enforce confinement will be redoubled, using drones, helicopters and messages.

David Lisnard, the mayor of Cannes is launching a distribution of protective visors for professionals in prolonged contact with the public. The masks, of two types,  are made from PVC and have been designed for people particularly exposed to the virus in the exercise of their professional activity. The town hall gave the examples of opticians, physiotherapists, beauticians, hairdressers, sellers, cashiers, dentists and reception staff. The distribution will start next Thursday, May 7.

Representatives of the French government and the SNCF have been giving further details on the wearing masks on trains. In an interview with Le Parisian, Secretary of State for transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said that the fine for not wearing a mask on a train should be of a similar amount to the fine for not having an exit certificate, in other words about 135 euros. However, he said that the exact amount hadn't yet been decided. He also said that people trying to enter a railway station without a mask may be refused access. Meanwhile, in an interview with France 2 last night, the head of the SNCF Jean-Pierre Farandou said that trains will be disinfected at least once per day and markings will be put on the ground to help in respecting barrier measures. He added that, although it will be possible to buy a mask at the station, passengers should do their part and not turn up at the station without a mask.

Representatives of French health professionals have  expressed their dismay at the plans for wide availability of masks. They say that they cannot understand why they have been told recently that masks to protect themselves and their patients are in short supply, when large supplies have now been made available to major retailers to sell in their stores.

French President Emmanuel Macron has posted a video message for the 1st of May holiday on soci