Evening Update Friday 19 February 2021

Health Minister Olivier Véran is expected in the Alpes Maritimes tomorrow. The minister has said that the health situation in Nice is currently “worrying”. He's expected to meet nursing staff and local elected officials. Meanwhile, a Nice Municipal Councillor has said that there is an "epidemic situation" in Nice and the Alpes Maritimes. Herve Cael, who is also an emergency doctor, called for a public/private partnership to limit the cancellation of treatments, as has been requested by Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi.

The Prefect of the Var has said that over 50,000 vaccinations have been carried out against Covid-19 in the department since 6 January, including over 10,000 second injections. As of this coming Monday, February 22, the vaccination centres in Toulon, Hyères and La Seyne-sur-Mer will each have an additional vaccination line, which represents a capacity to vaccinate about fifty more people each day at each centre. You can find out how to book an appointment at the Prefecture's website www.var.gouv.fr

The PACA Regional Health Agency has launched an initiative to help people isolating at home. It's being organised in association with a nursing union and you can get further information at the website https://www.infirmiere-paca.fr

French roads monitor Bison Fute has classified the whole of France as orange tomorrow, Saturday, in the direction of departures. However, the holiday period isn't expected to be as congested as in previous years because of the pandemic.

The President of Cote d'Azur Habitat has said that four months after Storm Alex, some insurers are "not playing the game". Anthony Borre gave the example of a handicapped elderly renter in Breil-sur-Roya who had received a lump sum which was not enough to cover the storm damage and in addition had to meet the cost of cleaning their property. He called the situation unacceptable and said he had been in touch with the French Insurance Federation.

An operation has taken place off the coast of the Var to raise three wrecks from the seabed. The operation, which was carried out by French Navy divers and engineers off La Seyne-sur-Mer, was carried out for environmental and safety reasons.

The Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, which is based in Toulon, is about to set sail on a new mission. The carrier is part of a group of ships which will be deployed for several months, in the Mediterranean and then in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, as part of the “Clemenceau 21” mission, which is involved in the fight against terrorism.

The 53rd Tour of the Alpes Maritimes and the Var cycling race has been getting underway today and will last until Sunday. Today's stage was from Biot to Gourdon, tomorrow it's a 175.7km stage starting and finishing in Fayence and Sunday's final stage starts and finishes in Blausasc. Temporary road closures will be in operation.

Secretary of State for Rural Affairs Joel Giraud has inaugurated a new France Services office in Salernes in the Var. There are over 1,000 France Services offices across the country which offer a range of public cultural, economic and educational services.


BUSINESS

The UK's Supreme Court has ruled that Uber must treat its drivers as being workers rather than self-employed. The decision means that tens of thousands of Uber drivers in the UK are set to be entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay.

The share of online sales in the UK hit a record high in January and accounted for over a third of total retail spending. Overall retail sales fell by 8.2% in January from December according to the Office for National Statistics. Department and clothing store sales were particularly affected with many stores closed because of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

UK Public sector net borrowing in January was the highest January borrowing since monthly records began in 1993 and the first January deficit for 10 years. While borrowing rose sharply, tax receipts fell to an estimated £63.2 billion in January, which is £0.8 billion lower than in January 2020.

 

SPORT

Tennis.......Daniil Medvedev is through to the Australian Open final after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4  6-2  7-5. He'll meet Novak Djokovic on Sunday in the final which starts at 9.30am our time.

Motorsports... Formula 1 team AlphaTauri have launched their new AT02 car. Team boss Franz Tost said that their target for this year is "to consistently be at the top of the midfield pack and improve further." Team driver Pierre Gasly won the Grand Prix at Monza last year and said that he's sure they can "achieve great things" in 2021.

Football... There’s one game in the English Premier League tonight. Wolves play Leeds. On Saturday Southampton play Chelsea. Burnley host West Brom. Liverpool face Everton and Fulham play Sheffield United. On Sunday West Ham play Spurs. Aston Villa host Leicester. Arsenal play Manchester City and Manchester United play Newcastle. On Monday Brighton play Crystal Palace.

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