Evening Update Friday 4 June 2021

The French government has released details of the conditions under which foreign visitors will be allowed into the country from 9 June. A colour coded system will come into force under which countries will be classified according to their health situation.

Visitors from Green countries, which include those in the European Economic Area as well as Australia and New Zealand, will be free to enter without testing if they have been vaccinated. Those without vaccination will be required to produce evidence of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within the prior 72 hours.

Visitors from the government's list of Orange countries, which includes the UK and USA, if they have been vaccinated, will be required to produce evidence of a negative PCR test taken within the prior 72 hours or a negative antigen test taken within the prior 48 hours. No compelling reason to visit France will be required nor will such visitors be required to isolate. However, arrivals from Orange countries who have not been vaccinated will be required to produce the same evidence of testing and will also be required to self-isolate for seven days, to provide a compelling reason to visit France and may also be subject to random Coid-19 testing on arrival.

A small number of countries are on the Red list for which quarantine, various testing and compelling reasons to vist France are required.

Further information, including a PDF document with full conditions for each country colour category, are available on the French government's website https://www.gouvernement.fr/voyager-depuis-et-vers-l-etranger-mode-d-emploi

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said that it is necessary to clearly establish the facts surrounding the recent problems with emergency service phone numbers so that they do not happen again. He said that local prefects had reported "some slight disfunctions" in several areas of the country this morning but the situation had returned to normal at the time he was speaking, just after an interministerial meeting this morning. He said that the results of an investigation into the outages will be made available "in full transparency" as soon as they are known. Network operator Orange said today that the situation has returned to normal since noon yesterday across the country. The company has decided to set up a dedicated unit in order to "resolve any local dysfunctions that may appear". Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, has launched an in-depth internal investigation, the conclusions from which are expected within 7 days.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has said that he believes  France must invest in innovation and has lost too many cutting-edge industries such as aeronautics, automotive and pharmaceuticals. Speaking at the Transformons la France forum at Nice Cote d'Azur Airport this morning, he said that ecology must be placed at the service of the economy and it's "not contradictory to build and at the same time to have a structure that accelerates the process of lowering the carbon footprint".

Prime Minister Jean Castex is in Toulon this evening. He's visiting the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle which has just returned from a three and a half month mission. The Prime Minister and Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly will be on board the ship during offshore exercises taking place to the north of Corsica.

A civil security exercise was held today at the STOGAZ industrial site in La Motte in the Var. The exercise, which involved the Prefecture's departmental operational centre and the emergency services, was designed to test the department's systems in the event of an industrial accident.


BUSINESS

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into whether Facebook has gained an unfair advantage over competitors in providing services for online classified ads and online dating, through how it gathers and uses certain data. The European Commission has also launched a similar investigation. The CMA said it will seek to work closely with the Commission on the investigation.

UK New car registrations in May reached just over 156,000 units, according to the latest figures from industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The total represents an almost eightfold increase on the same month last year, but is still down 14.7% on May 2019, and is 13.2% down on the 10-year average for the month of May.

United Airlines has announced it's intention to bring back supersonic air travel some eighteen years after Concorde's last flight. United said it has agreed to purchase 15 aircraft from Denver based Boom Supersonic with the option to buy an additional 35 planes. It said that the aircraft are capable of flying at speeds of Mach 1.7, which is about twice the speed of today's fastest airliners meaning that flights from New York to London would take just three and a half hours. The planes will operate on up to 100% sustainable aviation fuel.


SPORT

Football... Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has signed a contract extension until 2024. He's won 19 of his 30 games in charge since taking over from Frank Lampard in January.

Motorsports... Max Verstappen was fastest in first practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this morning. Charles Leclerc was second, Carlos Sainz was third and Sergio Perez was fourth. Lewis Hamilton was seventh fastest, closely followed by Lando Norris in eighth. In second practice this afternoon Sergio Perez was fastest, followed by Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. Lando Norris was once again in eighth and Lewis Hamilton eleventh.

Tennis... World number four Aryna Sabalenka is out of the French Open after being beaten by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The final score was 6-4  2-6  6-0. She'll meet Victoria Azarenka in the last 16 after Azarenka defeated Madison Keys 6-2 6-2. In the men's singles Alexander Zverev is through to the next round after beating Laslo Djere and Federico Delbonis beat Fabio Fognini. Play was disrupted by rain this afternoon on all courts except centre court where the retractable roof was put in place to allow play to continue.

Rugby Union... There’s one game in the Gallagher English Premiership tonight. Sale play Harlequins while in the Guinness Pro 14 Rainbow Cup Bulls play Stormers. Connacht play Ospreys and Glasgow Warriors play Leinster.

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