Evening Update Friday 18th Dec

The 8pm curfew in Monaco has been extended throughout the Christmas period to at least January 15th. The only exception will be Christmas Eve, with an extension to 11.30pm. Public gatherings for Christmas and New Years Eve have been banned, and in addition, any non-residents wishing to visit the Principality, will only be allowed if they have a hotel reservation.

French police are stepping up controls to enforce the new 8pm curfew across the Riviera with many extra patrols reported, particularly in Nice. Like Monaco, French residents are under curfew from 8pm nightly.  

A major study has shown that Covid-19 is responsible for three times more deaths than the seasonal flu. Mortality rate of patients hospitalized with Covid- 19 is 16.9%, while for seasonal flu, it’s 5.8%, with  Covid, hospital stays are also twice as long with more patients being hospitalized in intensive care.

Finally, four men have been arrested after using explosives to blow open several ATM cash machines between Montpellier and Narbonne. It’s believed the gang stole up to 170,000 euro.

BUSINESS

An unprecedented $80bn of trade is expected on Tesla shares today, before the electric car maker is launched onto the S&P 500 on Monday. That will make Tesla the most valuable company ever admitted to Wall Street’s main benchmark, accounting for over 1% of the index.

Sony has removed the video game Cyberpunk 2077 from its PlayStation Store, in a move that has shocked industry analysts and added to the woes of its developer. CD Projekt the Polish developer behind role playing game, has lost over $6bn in market value in the past week, following global complaints that the new game is buggy and will not run on older hardware.

SPORT

Formula 1 - Sergio Perez has signed to race for Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen in 2021. The Mexican is fresh from his maiden Formula 1 win in the Sakhir Grand Prix this month. He will replace Alex Albon who will stay with the team as reserve driver.

Athletics - Russia will not be able to use its name, flag or  anthem at the next two Olympics or at any world championships for the next two years, after a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The ruling comes after a landmark case, that accused Russia of state-ordered tampering, of a testing laboratory in Moscow. The ruling also blocks Russia from bidding to host major sporting events for two years.

Football - In Ligue 1, OGC Nice take on Lyon tomorrow, while on Sunday Monaco travel to Dijon. In the English Premier League this weekend, Crystal Palace play Liverpool on Saturday while Manchester United face Leeds on Sunday.

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