Evening Update Friday 23 October 2020

The Alpes-Maritimes and the Var are amongst 54 departments in France to be subject to curfew restrictions from midnight tonight, Friday 23 October. The curfew will apply every night from 9pm to 6am for an initial period of 6 weeks with certain exemptions for example for people working, walking pets, attending medical appointments or providing assistance to vulnerable people. The required exemption forms together with details of the exemptions can be found on the French Interior Ministry website. An exemption certificate is valid for one hour and can be completed on a smartphone, on paper or written on plain paper. In the case of a professional reason, it must be accompanied by proof from the employer.

Fines of 135 euros will be issued to offenders, with fines of up to 3,750 euros for repeat offenders.

Public transport will continue to operate for those people with an exemption.

Further details of curfew measures are available on the websites of the Var and Alpes Maritimes Prefectures.

http://www.var.gouv.fr/l-etat-d-urgence-sanitaire-et-couvre-feu-dans-le-a8883.html

http://www.alpes-maritimes.gouv.fr/Actualites/Communiques/passage-du-departement-des-AM-en-zone-etat-d-urgence-sanitaire-renforce-zone-de-couvre-feu

In Monaco, the Minister of State Pierre Dartout will make a television address this evening at 7 p.m. regarding coronavirus measures. The Monaco government has stated that at present there will be no curfew introduced in the Principality.

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said today that the curfew measures will cost just over 2 billion euros for the government. He added that there was a strong risk of the French economy contracting in the fourth quarter.

It's expected to be a busier than normal weekend on the roads this weekend because of the holiday period. The latest bad weather today could result in fresh damage to already seriously weakened infrastructure in the areas affected by Storm Alex three weeks ago. The prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes Bernard Gonzalez has called for residents to take extra care on roads and in areas already badly affected by Storm Alex. People who don’t live in the areas affected are requested not to make leisure trips to allow authorities to continue with repairs with minimum disruption.

Nicolas Sarkozy was in our region today for a book signing in Grasse. Dozens of people queued outside in the rain to get their copy of the former president's book "Le Temps des Tempêtes" signed. He also attend a ceremony in Grasse this morning to open a square named in honour of former Interior Minister Charles Pasqua.


BUSINESS

Britain and Japan have signed a post-Brexit trade deal. Under the agreement, which takes effect from 1 January, almost all UK exports to Japan will be tariff free and UK tariffs on Japanese cars will be removed by 2026.

A new survey of company purchasing managers suggests that UK economic growth is slowing in recent weeks as new coronavirus restrictions are imposed. The Markit Flash UK Composite Output Index fell to 52.9 this month, compared with 56.5 last month and 59.1 in August. However, a figure above 50 still indicates economic expansion. A similar survey of the Eurozone indicates contraction in the bloc, with a figure of 49.4 being recorded.

Fasion retailer Gap has announced a strategic review of its business in Europe.  The company said that it's considering the possible closure of company-operated Gap stores in the United Kingdom, France, Ireland and Italy and its EU distribution center in Rugby in the UK. Instead of operating its own stores, Gap said it was looking at expanding its franchise model.

UK retail sales have risen for the fifth month in a row. Retail sales volumes rose by 1.5% between August and September according to the Office for National Statistics. The three months to September recorded a record quarterly sales increase as retail sales volumes rose by 17.4% compared to the previous three months during which the country was in lockdown.

 

SPORT

Motorsports.. In first practice for the Portugese Grand Prix this morning Valtteri Bottas was fastest, followed by Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

Cycling... Czech rider Josef Cerny has won today's stage of the Giro d'Italia after the stage was shortened because of coronavirus concerns. Riders took team buses for part of the route after a protest over safety. Concerns were raised over the 258km stage taking part in heavy rain potentially risking riders' health.

Cricket... England players have agreed to take a cut in their pay. The ECB has reached an agreement with Team England Player Partnership under which centrally contracted men's players will take a 15% pay cut for the next 12 months.

Teams taking part in the Big Bash League in Australia will be allowed to field up to three overseas players this season. Cricket Australia described the change as a "major milestone". Last season only two overseas players per team had been allowed.

Former India captain Kapil Dev has undergone  heart surgery in Delhi after he complained of chest pain. A statement from the hospital said that the 61 year old was admitted today and was in a stable condition.

Rugby Union...This weekend's England against Barbarians match at Twickeham has been cancelled. The match was due to take place at Twickenham on Sunday but has been called off after twelve Barbarians players were stood down for breaking coronavirus rules. The players breached team protocols by leaving their hotel bubble to have dinner at a restaurant. The RFU said that it had also discovered another breach where players left the hotel without permission.

There’s one international match tonight.Scotland play Georgia while on Saturday Ireland play Italy in the 6 Nations and France host Wales in a friendly Test. It’s the Gallagher Premiership final tomorrow too with Exeter facing Wasps who are able to field a side despite recent coronavirus setbacks.

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

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