Evening Update Monday 12 July 2021

President Macron has made an address to the nation this evening in which he announced a wide range of new coronavirus measures. He began his address by saying that "we have managed to control the epedemic and breathe again" and in the past few weeks infections had fallen below 2,000 per day compared with 35,000 at the height of the crisis but the country is "facing a strong resumption of the epedemic". He said the delta variant "rushes into all areas not covered by vaccination".

He announced that vaccination will be made mandatory for healthcare workers and a wide range of professional and voluntary people who are in contact with frail or elderly individuals. Such people will have until 15 September to be vaccinated after which "checks will be made and sanctions taken". He added that it would be necessary for the question to be asked as to whether vaccination should be made compulsory for the general population but for the moment he had confidence in the French people. Vaccination campaigns will take place for school and college students from the beginning of the school year.

The President said that border controls will be reinforced for people from those countries most at risk with mandatory quarantine for travellers who have not been vaccinated.

He said that the Health Pass will be extended from 21 July to cover all those over 12 years of age and will be extended to places of leisure and culture welcoming more than 50 people such as amusement parks, concerts and festivals.

From the beginning of August, subject to legislation being introduced, the Health Pass will apply in cafes, restaurants, hospitals, retirement homes, and in long-distance transport - aeroplanes, trains and coaches for long journeys.

He said that from early September those people who were vacciated in January and February will be able to make an appointment for an additional vaccine dose.

Moving on to other matters, the President said that he wished to reform the pensions system which he said was unfair and consisted of 42 different regimes. He said that people would have to work longer and retire later. However, the reforms would not begin until the epedemic is under control. He said that he was still aiming to implement unemployment insurance reforms from 1 October. He added that a "commitment income" will be introduced for young people without employment or training.


In other news, the seven day coronavirus incidence rate in the Alpes-Maritimes has risen to 61 per 100,000 people according to the covidtracker.fr website. The rate is above the national average of 35 and the alert threshold of 50. According to Sante Publique France, the Delta coronavirus variant accounts for 82.1% of coronavirus cases in the department compared to 58.8% nationally.

The doctolib vaccination booking platform has said that 212,000 people made an appointment for a first injection over the weekend. It said that the figure is up to 40% more than previous weekends.

The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has launched the  "personnels vaccinés" label for retailers. This morning he visited Maison Pellegrino in Nice old town, which is the first establishment in Nice to receive the certification. Trained municipality employees will contact traders to inform them about the certification which retailers can apply for if their employees have been vaccinated. The list of shops is available on the site https://nice.fr. The Mayor also said that as of today, municipal teams will go to shopping centers and businesses to offer to vaccinate people in their workplaces.

In Monaco, vaccination is being extended to all public sector personnel as from today. The government has said that vaccination will be extended to all employees of the Principality aged 50 and over and details of how to register will be announced shortly.

A drought alert has been reinforced in 73 municipalities in the Var. Various measures to restrict the use of water have been introduced and failure to comply incurs a fine of €1,500. Details, including a list of the municipalities concerened, are available at http: //var.gouv.fr/alerte-secheresse-renforcee-sur-le-bassin-versant-a9939.html

Meteo France have a yellow warning for storms in the Var from 2am to 6am tomorrow, Tuesday, morning and from 2am to 8am in the Alpes-Maritimes.

One of the main summer events of the Riviera starts today. The Nice jazz festival is getting underway this evening. The Jazz a Juan Festival has also been taking place since last Friday and continues until 20 July.

David Lisnard, the Mayor of Cannes has inaugurated the second phase of the redevelopment of Boulevard Eugène Gazagnaire, between the Paul Harris and Florence Gould roundabouts, in the east of the city. A widened pedestrian promenade has been created without removing parking. There is also an extended cycle path, redesigned and calmed traffic flow, a renovated and secure pontoon, and a new sports area.


Heathrow Airport has said that passenger numbers are still nearly 90% down on pre-pandemic 2019 numbers. CEO John Holland-Kaye said it was "fantastic news" that some double-vaccinated passengers will no longer need to quarantine from amber countries but ministers need to "extend this policy to US and EU nationals if they want to kickstart the economic recovery".

A new survey has shown a sharp rise in confidence amongst UK businesses. The BDO Optimism Index for July  was at its highest level since 2005 ahead of the lifting of many coronavirus restrictions in England on 19 July. The firm also said that rising inflation is a growing concern as its Inflation Index edged towards a four-year high driven by supply chain disruption and increased demand for goods and services.



Euro 2020... England manager Gareth Southgate has held a press conference after last nights defeat against Italy. He said he wanted to thank all the England players for what they have given. He added that they "have been a joy to work with and totally unselfish in their outlook". Southgate said that there are "lots of things we want to reflect on", and he wouldn't be giving a proper appraisal of the team's performance until he has "watched the match back fully." Meanwhile, cheering fans greeted the Italy team as they arrived back in Rome with the trophy this morning. Last night's victory was the first European title Italy have won since 1968.

Rugby Union...Conor Murray will captain the British and Irish Lions for the first time in the match against South Africa A in Cape Town on Wednesday. There are 12 changes to the side which played against the Sharks on Saturday, with only Anthony Watson, Chris Harris and Dan Biggar retained. Maro Itoje is returning after recovering from illness.

Tour de France.... Today is a rest day for the riders. Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey and is 5 minutes 18 seconds ahead of Rigoberto Uran with just under a week left of the Tour.

Golf... Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is out of the Open Championship after testing positive for Covid-19.  Zach Johnson, Louis de Jager and Bubba Watson have also withdrawn for Covid reasons.

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