Evening Update Monday 14 September 2020

Christophe Mirmand, the Prefect of the Buches-du-Rhone has announced new coronavirus restrictions in the department. Amongst various measures, he said that wearing a mask will be compulsory from 6 am to 2 am in municipalities where the incidence rate is greater than 100 cases in 100,000, except for large natural spaces. Also in those areas which have over 100 cases per 100,000 people, gatherings of more than 1,000 people will be prohibited and gatherings of more than 10 static people will prohibited on beaches and in the public gardens.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the Regional Health Agency in the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region has said that 139 people are in intensive care in the region and 64 intensive care beds are currently available. Speaking this evening Philippe de Mester said that there was a "particularly worrying" epidemic situation in Marseille and in the Bouches-du-Rhône department.

Earlier this afternoon, the Prefect of the Gironde department in western France, which includes Bordeaux, announced the introduction of new coronavirus measures. Fabienne Buccio said that private gatherings in the city of Bordeaux must not exceed 10 people. Public gatherings in places such as beaches and gardens in the city also must not exceed 10 people and drinking whilst standing in bars and restaurants will be prohibited. Amongst a range of measures which will come into force for the whole of the Gironde department, the number of people permitted at public events will be lowered to a maximum of 1,000 instead of the previous limit of 5,000. Last Friday French Prime Minister Jean Castex asked the Prefect, along with the Prefects of the Bouches-du-Rhone and Guadeloupe to propose new coronavirus measures.

Disruption to public transport in our region is expected on Thursday. A national day of action has been called by several unions. Although full details are not known at this stage, Lignes d'Azur say that the three tramlines in Nice and over twenty bus lines won't be operating on Thursday.

The French central bank, the Banque de France has said that the economy is expected to contract by 8.7% this year. The figure is slightly better than the 10.3% previously estimated by the Bank. It said that surveys of businesses showed a stronger economic rebound than had previously been expected.

The Elysée has said that President Macron will be present at the 17th stage of the Tour de France tomorrow. It's taking place between Grenoble and Méribel. President Macron will be present at the finish line at the end of the 174km stage. Reports say that he will arrive at Chambery airport before taking a helicopter, followed by a car which he will share with race director Christian Prudhomme.

Much of France will experience a heatwave in the early part of this week according to Meteo France. In unusual conditions for mid-September, temperatures could approach 37 degrees in localized areas of south-west France and 36 in some central parts of the country. Meteo France believe that the record mid-September temperature for Paris of 33.2 degrees set in 1947 could be broken.

Another event on the Cote d'Azur has been cancelled because of the pandemic. The chestnut festival at La Garde-Freinet in the Var was due to take place this autumn but organizers have decided not to go ahead with the festival this year.



Microsoft has said that its offer to buy the US operations of video-sharing app TikTok has been rejected. Reports say that US technology business Oracle has instead reached a preliminary "technical partnership" agreement with TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance but that talks are continuing. President Trump gave a 15 September deadline for the Chinese-owned app to be sold or close down. The Trump administration claims TikTok and other Chinese apps are threats to US national security.

London City Airport has announced up to 239 job losses. The airport said the losses were part of a restructuring. A large number of job losses have already been announced in the aviation sector as the result of the reduction in the number of flights because of the pandemic.

Computer chip designer ARM Holdings is being acquired by American graphics chip specialist Nvidia. Japanese conglomerate Softbank currently owns ARM, which is based in the UK. Nvidia said that it intends to keep the ARM brand and that the business will continue to be based in the UK.



Motorsports... The governing body of Formula 1, the FIA, has said that it's investigating the wearing of a T-shirt worn by Lewis Hamilton at yesterday's Tuscan Grand Prix to establish if there was a violation of its rules. The T-shirt made reference to an alleged incident of police violence  in Louisville, Kentucky last March in which a woman was shot by police. A spokesperson for the FIA said the matter was "under active consideration".

Tennis... Novak Djokovic has said that he must "move on" from his disqualification at the US Open last week. He was disqualified for accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball. He was speaking at a media conference in Rome for the Italian Open which is taking place until 21 September, having been rearranged from its original date in May.

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