Coastal areas of the Alpes-Maritimes are once again in lockdown from 6:00 p.m. this evening until Monday at 6:00 a.m. The conditions of the lockdown are the same as during the two previous weekends. The lockdown means that being outside your home is prohibited except for compelling reasons which are detailed on the attestation form. Practicing a physical activity remains limited to one hour, within a radius of five kilometers from your home.
The route of the Paris Nice cycle race has been changed. It was due to finish this Sunday on the Promenade des Anglais but will now end in Levens instead. The start on Sunday has been moved to Plan-du-Var. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said that he had opposed the arrival of the race this weekend in a confined area. He also said this morning that "the health situation is soaring in the Île-de-France" and the people of Nice "cannot understand that we have confinement here and not such a firm minimum decision in the Île-de-France".
The Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Regional Health Agency has said that nine medical evacuations were arranged this week to the regions of Occitanie and Nouvelle Aquitaine. The agency said that the tranfers were made to relieve intensive care services in the PACA region.
Many vaccination centres across our region will be open this weekend with priority being given to those aged 75 and over. A list of centres and their contact details is available on the Regional Health Agency's website https://www.paca.ars.sante.fr/ou-vous-faire-vacciner-ce-week-end
The Agency has said that the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region will benefit this weekend from 18,720 additional doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
Separately, the Var Prefecture has announced that two new vaccination centres, at Le Zénith de Toulon and Le Beausset, will be open from Monday March 15.
French pharmaceutical company Sanofi has announced that clinical trials have begun of its second vaccine. The vaccine candidate has been developed in association with American therapeutics company Translate Bio. Sanofi said that 415 participants are expected to be enrolled in the trial with interim results expected in the third quarter of this year.
In other news, because of strong mistral winds expected over the next few days, the Prefect of the Var has banned any use of fire when winds are above 40 km / h, in particular during brush clearing operations. The prefecture also reminded residents that fire alerts from the SDIS have already risen sharply since the first weekend of March and the use of fire for the burning of plants during clearing operations is only possible in the absence of wind after declaration at the town hall and provided that there is no air pollution.
UK exports of goods to the European Union dropped by just over 40% in January according data from the UK Office for National Statistics. Imports fell by 28.8%. The ONS also said that the UK economy shrank by 2.9% in January. The economy is 9% smaller than it was before the start of the pandemic. However, the contraction in GDP was less than some analysts had expected.
Industrial production in the Eurozone rose by 0.8% in January compared to December, according to estimates from EU statistics agency Eurostat. Production rose by 0.1% compared to the same month last year.
In the UK, Royal Mail is to start a trial of parcel deliveries on a Sunday for major retailers. It said an increasing number of customers were shopping online and expected to get their purchases as soon as possible. Several of Royal Mail's competitors are already making deliveries on a Sunday.
Cricket... Kraigg Brathwaite has been appointed West Indies Test captain. He replaces Jason Holder who captained the side in 37 tests after becoming their youngest ever captain in 2015.
Rugby Union... The penultimate round of the 6 Nations Championship is taking place this weekend. Italy play Wales on Saturday at 3.15 our time and England play France at 5.45. Both Wales and France can still do the Grand Slam as long as they win tomorrow. Scotland play Ireland on Sunday.
There’s one game in the Gallagher Premiership tonight. Bristol play Wasps while in the Guinness Pro 14 Zebre play Leinster. Glasgow Warriors are against Opsreys and Munster play Scarlets.
Football... In the English Premier League this weekend, there’s one game tonight with Newcastle at home to Aston Villa. On Saturday Leeds play Chelsea. Crystal Palace host West Brom. Everton play Burnley and Fulham host Manchester City. On Sunday Southampton play Brighton. Leicester play Sheffield United. Arsenal face north London rivals Spurs and Manchester United play West Ham. Wolves play Liverpool on Monday.
Very windy in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes for much of the weekend
A clear evening and night
Tomorrow - sunny and clear skies, highs of 18
Sunday - sunny intervals in the morning, sunny and clear skies in the afternoon, highs of 17