The first round of the departmental and regional elections are being held in France on Sunday. A strict health protocol will be in place at polling stations. Measures include the mandatory wearing of masks and the observance of a distance of 1.5 metres between people who are voting. The government recommends that voters take their own pen.
Wearing a mask will no longer be compulsory outdoors in Monaco from tomorrow, Saturday 19 June. However, the wearing of a mask will still be required in the Place du Palais and the alleys of the old town of the Rock, the Place du Casino and the neighbouring areas that form the Carre d'Or, the Esplanade of the Commercial Centre of Fontvieille, the Condamine and Monte-Carlo markets during operating hours, access areas to public transport and in particular bus stops and the railway station, and the surroundings and acccess areas to schools. A curfew will be in operation from midnight to 6 a.m. The situation will be re-assesed next week.
Surveys have not detected any new pollution on the beaches of southern Corsica. The Corse du Sud Prefecture said that all the beaches affected by oil residues recently have been cleaned and two dams have been deployed as a preventive measure in two areas which are particularly sensitive from an ecological point of view. The majority of beaches have now been reopened by the municipalities. A reconnaissance is being carried out today on rocky areas to detect any residues which may not have reached beaches.
Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi was present this morning at rehearsals by municipal police officers who will be on parade on 14 July in Paris as part of the Bastille Day commemorations. It's the first time municipal police will parade on the Champs-Elysée. The police officers who were awarded the Légion d’Honneur for their actions on the day of the the attack on the Notre-Dame Basilica will be among the forty agents who will be on parade.
A ceremony has been held in the Var today to commemorate the 81st anniversary of General de Gaulle's Appeal to the French in the Second World War. On 18 June 1940, de Gaulle made his first speech following his arrival in London after the fall of France. The speech was broadcast to France by the BBC and is widely considered to be the start of the French resistance during the war. The sub-prefects of Brignoles and Draguignan chaired the commemorations in the presence of civil and military authorities. President Macron also attended a ceremony in Paris this morning.
The Monaco government is continuing to provide support to businesses and restaurants in the Principality, through the CARLO application, by continuing to cover the platform costs that would have otherwise been paid by buinesses. The CARLO app has 290 partner shops and a user base of 19,000 customers.
The mayor of Antibes, Jean Leonetti, has visited the new Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Art in Antibes. The Conservatory will welcome 1,200 students and 50 teachers in September. It will offer a choice of more than 50 disciplines taught individually and collectively. The facility includes a 300-seat auditorium and a summer theatre on the roof as well as 41 teaching and rehearsal rooms, which have exceptional quality acoustics.
The Alpes-Maritimes prefecture has said that the public reception and the digital point of the Grasse sub-prefecture will be exceptionally closed on June 21 and 28.
UK industry body the CBI has forecast that the UK economy will be back to its pre-covid level by the end of this year. It said that the easing of many COVID-19 restrictions, rapid roll-out of vaccines and "the unleashing of pent-up demand" means that the UK economy is "poised for considerable economic growth" over the summer. It added that it expects GDP growth of 8.2% this year and 6.1% in 2022, but it also forecast that business investment will remain 5% below pre-COVID levels at the end of 2022.
Retail sales volumes in Great Britain declined by 1.4% between April and May following a sharp increase in April when retail restrictions were eased. The largest contribution to the monthly decline came from food stores where sales volumes fell by 5.7%. The Office for National Statistics said that anecdotal evidence suggests the easing of hospitality restrictions had an impact on sales, as people returned to eating and drinking at restaurants and bars.
Euro 2020... In group E today Sweden have beaten Slovakia 1-0 this afternoon. Croatia and the Czech Republic are playing in Group D.
It's the eagerly awaited England against Scotland match at Wembley this evening. Kick off is at 9 pm our time. A win for England will put them into the last 16 while Scotland will need at least a point to keep their hopes of qualifying alive.
Motorsports... Valtteri Bottas was fastest in the French Grand Prix first practice. Lewis Hamilton was second, ahead of Max Verstappen. In second practice, Max Verstappen was fastest ahead of Valtteri Bottas in second and Lewis Hamilton in third.
Cricket...Rain delayed the start of the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand earlier today. Play was due to begin at 11.30am our time but heavy overnight rain continued on Friday morning at the venue.
Tennis....Naomi Osaka has said that she won't be playing at Wimbledon this year but is planning to take part in the Tokyo Olympics. She said that she is "excited to play in front of her home fans" in Tokyo.