Evening Update Friday 23 July 2021

The president of the Scientific Council Jean-Francois Delfraissy has said that there will probably be 50,000 Covid-19 caes per day in France at the beginning of August. Speaking to French media today he said that a "return to normal" may be be possible in 2022 or 2023, but "is not now". He added that "we're probably going to have a new variant". He said that because of the Delta variant, it is still very important to maintain barrier gestures such as the wearing of a mask in crowded places, including for those who have been vaccinated, saying "if you are vaccinated and you are in a crowd situation, wear a mask".

As from tomorrow, July 24, wearing a mask will be compulsory in all outdoor spaces in Monaco for everyone over 5 years old except on beaches and around swimming pools. Fines can range from 75 to 2,250 euros for those in breach, depending on whether it's a first or repeat offence. Also as from tomorrow, a health pass will be required for access to restaurants and bars in Monaco, with the exception of Monegasques, Monaco residents, employees and students and people staying in a hotel in the Principality or staying on a vessel anchored in one of Monaco's ports. Identity will be checked in addition to presentation of a health pass.

Mask wearing is also mandatory in 58 municipalities in the Var from today until 2 August inclusive. You can find full details on the Prefecture's web site www.var.gouv.fr

65% of the population of Nice is now vaccinated according to deputy mayor Anthony Bore. He said that the city is aiming to reach the level of 80% by the end of the summer.

The Regional Health Agency has reminded everyone that vaccination stations are open seven days a week at the Cap3000 and Polygone Riviera shopping centres. No appointment is necessary. All the vaccination centres open during the summer can be found at www.sante.fr

The French National Assembly has adopted the controversial health bill after a lengthy debate and vote which ended in the early hours of this morning. Amongst various measures, the law authorises the extended use of the health pass and makes vaccination compulsory for a wide range of caregivers including firefighters and staff of establishments welcoming the disabled or elderly. It also provides for the isolation of people who test positive for Covid-19. The bill will next be debated in the Senate.

 

BUSINESS

Near-record growth was seen across the eurozone in July, according to a widely watched survey. The IHS/Markit survey of purchasing managers rose to a 21-year high with the strongest rise in service sector activity since 2006. Data for the UK showed a slowdown in private sector growth compared to June. IHS/Markit said that material and staff shortages hindered growth while optimism also moderated.

Retail sales volumes in Great Britain in June were up 9.5% when compared with their pre- pandemic levels of February 2020. The Office for National Statistics said that sales volumes increased by 0.5% between May and June with the largest contribution to the monthly increase coming from food stores where sales volumes rose by 4.2%. as Euro 2020 got underway.

 

SPORT

Olympics.... The opening ceremony of the Tokyo games has taken place this afternoon. The ceremony at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium took place without spectators but 1,000 VIPs and delegates were present.

Football... Jadon Sancho has completed his move to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund. The 73 million pound deal makes him the second most expensive English player ever, behind United's Harry Maguire.

Tottenham forward and South Korea International Son Heung-min has signed a new four-year contract with the club. He's made 280 appearances for Spurs since joining from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015.

Rugby Union...The first test between the British and Irish Lions and South Africa is being played in Cape Town tomorrow evening. The Springboks have named 11 players from the side which beat England in the World Cup final in 2019. Alun Wyn Jones captains the Lions who include three Scottish players in their team for the first time since 1997. Kick off is at 6pm French time.

Rugby League...The Australian Rugby League Players Association has said that a number of its members wanted to travel to England for the World Cup this autumn. It said that Australia and New Zealand's decision to pull out of the tournament because of Covid-19 concerns had been "made prematurely."

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