Evening Update Friday 19 November 2021

France's High Authority of Health has recommended a vaccine booster dose for people 40 years of age and over, six months after the primary vaccination. In a statement released this evening the Authority said that the current circulation of the coronavirus has again accelerated in metropolitan France for several weeks, with a strong increase in the rate of reproduction of the virus and the rate of incidence, which now exceeds the alert threshold of 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in almost all departments. It said that new data confirms the benefit of a booster dose for people aged 40 and over.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of classes closed in French schools because of Covid-19. The Education Ministry said today that as at 1pm yesterday 4,048 classes were closed nationally, which is 0.8% of all classes. A total of 10,962 pupils had been declared as testing postive in the preceding seven days. 776 education staff had also  tested positive out of just over 1.2 million nationally.

The French government has sent reinforcements to the French overseas territory of Guadeloup after recent violence in the islands. Protests have been taking place over the past few days against the health pass and the compulsory vacciantion of caregivers. Gerald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior, and Sebastien Lecornu, Overseas Minister, said that they strongly condemn the violence and they have decided to deploy 200 additional police and gendarmes in the coming days in order to restore order.

The A8 motroway was closed for much of this morning's rush hour after a vehicle caught fire near the Nice Est junction on the westbound carriageway. Traffic was taken off at junction 55 Nice Centre while fire crews dealt with the incident.

Train services were disrupted earlier today between Toulon and Les Arc because of an SNCF breakdown. For much of the morning there were no trains running in either direction and replacement bus services were put in place. Traffic was expected to gardually return to normal from about 2.00pm.


BUSINESS

Monthly retail sales volumes in the UK rose by 0.8% in October as people began shopping for Christmas. According to the Office for National Statistics volumes were 5.8% higher than their pre-pandemic February 2020 levels. The proportion of retail sales online fell to 27.3% in October, its lowest proportion since March 2020 but still substantially higher than the 19.7% in February 2020 before the pandemic.

Ryanair has confirmed it will delist its shares from the London Stock Exchange but continue to be listed in Dublin. The company said that the volume of trading of its shares on the London Stock Exchange does not justify the costs related to such listing and admission to trading and the move would consolidate trading liquidity to one regulated market. It said its last day of trading on the LSE would be 17 December 2021.

Germany has recorded it highest annual factory gate inflation figure for seventy years. Federal stastistics office Destatis said that In October the index of producer prices for industrial products increased by 18.4% compared with October 2020. This was the highest increase compared to the corresponding month of the preceding year since November 1951. Compared with the preceding month the overall index rose by 3.8% in October.


SPORT

Motorsports... Max Verstappen was fastest in first practice at the Qatar Grand Prix. Pierre Gasly took second place with Valtteri Bottas in third and Lewis Hamilton in fourth. In second practice this afternoon the order was Bottas, Gasly, Verstappen and Hamilton.

Football...Manchester City player Kevin de Bruyne has tested positive for Covid-19. He will isolate for 10 days,  meaning that he'll will miss the forthcoming matches against Everton and Paris St-Germain.

Cricket... Tim Paine has stepped down as Australia Test captain over a historical investigation into explicit texts he sent to a female colleague in 2017. He said he was "exonerated" by a misconduct investigation but is stepping down as he had learned his texts were to be made public.

Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers has announced his retirement from cricket. The 37 year old retired from all forms of international cricket in 2018 but has continued to play in Twenty20 franchise leagues around the world.

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