Evening Update Friday 8 January 2021

The Monaco government has said that it's planning to restrict access to the Principality tomorrow, 9 January. Tomorrow is the second Saturday of the sales in Monaco and the aim is to prevent overcrowding in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. All of the Principality's shops will be accessible to outside visitors. However, regulation of incoming road traffic will be carried out by the Sûreté Publique at the border. This could cause significant traffic slowdowns. An increased surveillance of rail traffic will also be carried out at Monaco station. The agents of the Surete Publique will regulate or even restrict access to the Principality for non-residents who can't justify a compelling reason to enter Monaco. However, access won't be restricted for Monegasque nationals, residents, persons working in the Principality or able to prove a hotel reservation in Monaco. The authorities are asking people to show good citizenship by avoiding queueing in front of stores and are reminding people that the wearing of a mask is compulsory throughout Monaco, including inside shops and in queues outside shops.

Travellers to the UK will soon have to take a coronavirus test before departure. The UK government has said that all international passengers, including UK nationals, will have to have a test negative for Covid-19 before travelling to the UK. Arrivals will have to have taken a test not less than 72 hours before leaving the country they are in. There are some exceptions, for example for children under 11 and hauliers.  UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the new measures are likely to come into force from next week, probably on Wednesday or Thursday, and details of how to get tests abroad will be published on the gov.uk website. Even with a negative test, arrivals from countries not on the travel corridor list must still quarantine. France is currently not on the travel corridor list.

The French High Authority for Health has today given its approval to the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. Marketing authorization was given by the European Union earlier this week meaning that the vaccine will now be able to be administered in France.

Several local elected officials have written to French Minister of Solidarity and of Health Olivier Veran,  to propose that vaccine storage locations be extended to hospitals in a further three municipalities to avoid problems linked to vaccine delivery. At the moment only the CHU hospital in Nice is authorized in the Alpes-Maritimes to receive and store vaccine doses in low-temperature freezers. David Lisnard, mayor of Cannes, Jérôme Viaud, mayor of Grasse, and Jean Leonetti, mayor of Antibes Juan-les-Pins say that such a concentration of resources in a single establishment is not the best strategy for the effectiveness and speed of the vaccination campaign.

Nice mayor Christian Estrosi has expressed his thanks to Prime Minister Jean Castex for bringing forward the vaccination date of those aged 75 and over. The mayor said that are 35,000 such people in Nice and the city is ready to welcome them from January 18 in their 4 vaccination centres.

The vaccination campaign for Alpes Maritimes firefighters over 50 years old began today. The chief medical officer and the territorial deputy director were the first to be vaccinated. Vaccinations for firefighters are being carried out at the General Staff Headquarters and in some fire and rescue centers across the department.

Police in the Var are searching for a 30 year old man in connection with a stabbing last night. The incident took place in Le Revest-les-Eaux to the north of Toulon. The victim was taken to hospital in Toulon but his life isn't thought to be in danger.

 

BUSINESS

Data released today shows that 140,000 jobs were lost in the United States in December. The leisure and hospitality sector suffered one of the largest job losses. December is the first month to record a loss of jobs since the early stages of the pandemic.

Marks and Spencer has said that revenue in the lead up to Christmas was down sharply compared to last year. In the 13 weeks to 26 December UK revenues were 8.2% lower than last year. International revenues fell by 10.4%. The company blamed what it called "on-off restrictions and distortions in demand patterns" due to the pandemic. It also said that potential post-Brexit tariffs on part of its range exported to the EU, together with "very complex" administrative processes, would significantly impact its franchise business in France and its operations in Ireland and the Czech Republic.

There's been positive economic data for the Eurozone released today. The unemployment rate in the area fell from 8.4% in October to 8.3% in November. The number of people out of work fell by 172,000. Meanwhile, factory output in Germany rose by 0.9% in November from October. However, output was still down by 2.6% from the same period last year.


SPORT

Football... The FA Cup third-round tie between Aston Villa and Liverpool is going ahead this evening despite a coronavirus outbreak at Villa who will be fielding a team made up mostly of players from their Under-23 side. Kick off at Villa Park is at 8.45 this evening our time.

West Ham player Sebastien Haller has joined Ajax. He scored 14 goals in 54 games since joining the Hammers in 2019.

Rugby Union... There are two games in the Gallagher Premiership in England tonight. Bath play Wasps and Sale play Worcester. In the Guinness Pro 14 Glasgow play Edinburgh and Leinster play Ulster.

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