Evening Update Monday 1 February 2021

The Cannes town hall has said that some scheduled appointments for Covid-19 injections are having to be postponed because of lack of vaccines. It said that in the first week of the vaccination campaign 300 vaccine doses per day were being delivered to Cannes by central government, a figure which had gradually fallen to 110 doses per day at the end of last week. The town hall said that the national government is speaking about the acceleration of the vaccination campaign but "the opposite is seen on the ground". They added that a decrease in staffing announced last Thursday night by the Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes will "have significant consequences throughout the departmental territory".

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has said that restaurants which open despite coronavirus restrictions will have their access to the government solidarity fund suspended for one month. Access to the fund will be permanantely denied in the event of a repeat offence. The minister's comments come after some restaurant owners voiced their intention to open despite the laws in force. Over the weekend a police commissioner and a deputy public prosecutor were allegedly seen in an illegally opened restaurant in the town of Carpentras in the Vaucluse. Reports say that the two men were interviewed by police and may face charges.

A French government spokesperson has said that last week there was a 4% increase in the number of coronavirus infections, compared with 10% to 15% in the previous week. Speaking to French media this morning Gabrial Attal said that the curfew has an effect but the levels of current circulation of the virus were not acceptable.

Former French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has tested positive for Covid-19. He is isolating and working from home. Reports have quoted friends of M. Philippe as saying that the former Prime Minister and current mayor of Le Havre is doing well.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex launched a major public consultation exercise today. The "Beauvau de la Securite" aims to consult on eight major areas of public security, including law enforcement and the training of police officers. The consultation is expected to last four months.

Demonstrators blocked the entrance to a tunnel in the Savoie this morning, according to local reports. The seasonal workers were calling on the French government to give more help to winter resort areas.

One person has been arrested in Toulon after a severed head was found in a cardboard box earlier today. The gruesome discovery was made after the box was reportedly thrown out of the window of an apartment in the city centre. The RAID unit of the National Police attended the scene and enquiries are continuing.
 

BUSINESS

Vaccine company BioNTech has said that it will deliver enough vaccines to the EU to fulfil its contractual requirements for the first quarter of the year. The company said that it will increase deliveries starting from the week beginning 15 February. The news follows AstraZeneca saying yesterday that it will now supply an additional nine million Covid vaccine doses to the EU.

Ryanair has said that it's going through "the most challenging year" in its history. It reported a loss of €306m for the 3-months to the end of December compared to a profit of €88m for the same period last year. Traffic in the quarter fell by 78%. The company said that "as soon as the Covid-19 virus recedes" Ryanair and its partner airports expect to rapidly restore schedules and recover lost traffic.


SPORT

Cricket... The full England squad will be able to train together after the remaining members were cleared to leave quarantine in India having tested negative for Covid-19. Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Rory Burns have already begun training, having arrived in India separately. The first Test starts on Friday.

Tennis.... Warm-up events for the Australian Open have been getting underway. Six events are running simultaneously at Melbourne Park this week. Serena Williams has said said that she may not have been able to compete in the Australian Open had it not been pushed back by three weeks. Williams said she needed the extra time to fully recover from an achilles injury she suffered at the US Open last September.

Golf... Rory McIlroy has been cleared of any wrongdoing by moving his ball during yesterday's final day of the Open at Torrey Pines. The PGA said that McIlroy was entitled to take a similar free drop to the one eventual winner Patrick Reed took on Saturday. Reed was caught up in controversy when he moved his ball, which he believed to be embedded, before calling in a rules official. The PGA confirmed that both players proceeded "as the rule allows".

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