Evening Update Friday 12 February 2021

French Health Minister Olivier Veran has said that a decision on a possible reconfinement in the Moselle department in north-east France will be made in the coming days. The minsiter has been meeting with the Regional Health Agency and local officials in Metz this afternoon. He said that there are currently one hundred new cases per day of coronavirus variants in the Moselle. He added that he will consult with the education minister regarding possible school closures but no closures are currently planned for the department. He said that vaccinations and testing will be accelerated.

The French High Authority of Health has said that one dose of vaccine is sufficient for those who have already been infected with the coronavirus. It said that people already infected will have developed an immunity and a single dose of the vaccine will therefore act as a booster. The proposal has yet to receive government approval.

Police have used tear gas to break up an illegal party in Marseille. About fifty students had gathered near a university campus when security guards called the police who were reportedly met with a barrage of rocks and bottles. One person was arrested.

In the Var, the territorial isolation support unit has set up a telephone service to support people who are isolating because of testing positive for COVID 19 or because they are contact cases. The telephone service has been operational since January 29 and is accessible to everyone, via a toll-free number: 0 805 0 11 515. It's open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is also possible to reach the support unit by email: ctai.dt83@croix-rouge.fr

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has been promoted to the rank of Officer of the Legion d'Honneur in a ceremony this morning. The award was originally announced in France's new year's honours list for ensuring continuity of state services in the local area. The mayor was presented with his award by former president Nicolas Sarkosy.

The Maritime Prefecture has issued a reminder to take care at sea. There's been an increase in the number of interventions by CrossMed since the beginning of the year amounting to almost 3 times more interventions than in the same period in 2020.

Four people have been airlifted from a mountain in the Hautes-Alpes after becoming intoxicated by carbon monoxide from a stove. The four were taken from their bivouac at 3,000 metres to the hospital in Briancon.

The Sophia Antipolis Urban Community has launched a new initiative as part of its Flood Prevention Action Program. Under the CAS'ALABRI scheme a free flood vulnerability assessment is available for homes and businesses whether or not they are located in a flood zone. Financial aid may be available under the scheme for works to protect certain buildings from flooding. For more details see https://www.antibes-juanlespins.com/toute-l-actu/cas-alabri


BUSINESS

The UK economy contracted by a record 9.9% last year. The Office for National Statistics said that the contraction in 2020 was more than twice as much as the previous largest annual fall on record. However, the economy grew by 1% in the fourth quarter despite coronavirus restrictions.

Telecoms company O2 has been fined £10.5 million by UK regulator Ofcom for overcharging customers. The billing error affected more than 140,000 pay-monthly subscribers who left the network between 2011 and 2019.


SPORT

Motorsports.... Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso has suffered a fracture of his upper jaw in a cycling accident. His team, Alpine, which is the former Renault team, said that he'd had a "successful corrective operation" and will remain in hospital for observation for 48 hours. Alonso was in a collision with a car near his home in Lugano, Switzerland. Alpine said that after a few days of complete rest, he'll be able to progressively resume training.

Tennis...Dominic Thiem has beaten Nick Kyrgios to reach the Australian Open fourth round. He'll now play Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the quarter-finals. Alexander Zverev is also through but eighth seed Diego Schwartzman was beaten by qualifier Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka are all through to the next round after wins today.

Cricket... It's been confirmed that James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Dom Bess won't be playing in the second Test for England against India. However, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Ben Foakes, Olly Stone and Chris Woakes are joining the squad.

Football... The venue for Arsenal's home leg of their Europa League last-32 tie against Benfica has been changed after the UK government imposed strict travel restrictions on arrivals from Portugal. The match on 25 February will now take place at Olympiakos' stadium in Athens.

In the English Premier League this weekend, on Saturday Leicester play Liverpool. Crystal Palace play Burnley. Manchester City host Spurs and Brighton play Aston Villa. On Sunday Southampton play Wolves. West Brom play Manchester United. Arsenal face Leeds and Everton play Fulham. West Ham play Sheffield United on Monday and Chelsea play Newcastle.

Rugby Union... The second round of the 6 Nations is being played this weekend with Scotland, France and Wales looking to capitalise on their opening wins. England play Italy at 3.15 tomorrow as Eddie Jones looks to get his side out of the starting blocks after having been turned over on the opening day. Scotland play Wales at Murrayfield at 5.45 with the Welsh squad hit by injuries and several key players missing and Ireland host France on Sunday.

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