Evening Update Monday 21 September 2020

Parts of our region are recovering after the weekend's storms. There were reports of tornadoes in Hyeres, Le Pradet and Sanary in the Var last night as well as in Toulon. Restaurants at beaches in the Mourillon area of Toulon suffered extensive damage. Meanwhile, searches have been continuing in the Gard department this afternoon to locate two local residents missing in storms and floods over the weekend. Meteo France had a rare top-level red alert in force for the region. The car of a local nurse in her sixties was recovered in a river. The second missing person is an employee of a local municipality who didn't return home after going out during the storms.

Meteo France have a yellow warning for storms and flooding in the Var and the Alps Maritimes until 10pm this evening and also from 3am until 3pm tomorrow. Yellow warnings are also in force for many other departments in southern and central areas of the country.

Several local politicians have backed calls for widespread vaccination agains the flu this winter. Alpes Maritimes deputy Cedric Roussel is one of 75 politicians who have signed an open letter published yesterday calling for flu vaccination. The President of the PACA region, Renaud Muselier, has called for comulsory flu shots for the over-65's and carers.

The municipality of Antibes Juan Les Pins has published its weekly update on coronavirus cases. In the week of September 14 to 20, 384 PCR tests were performed and 10 positive cases were detected. There were 12 people in hospital with the virus. 4 patients were in intensive care. There have been no deaths at the hospital as a result of the virus since May 28.

The Prefect of the Rhone department has announced new coronavirus restrictions. In a similar move to the one announced for Nice last week, public events will be limited to 1,000 people, down from the previous limit of 5,000. The sale and consumption of alcohol on public roads will also be banned from 8pm to 6am. The wearing of masks will also be made compulsory in a further ten municipalities in the department. Visits to nursing homes will be limited to two per week, per resident.

The prefecture in the Haute-Garonne department has also announced new restrictions this evening, including limiting public gatherings to 1,000 people and the mandatory closing of bars at 1.00am.

The French Minister of Health, Olivier Veran, has said that specialised coronavirus testing centres will be opened in all areas of France where the virus is circulating and where there are delays in testing and receiving results. The minister was speaking after the annoucement that twenty new testing centres will be opening in the Ile-de-France over the next 15 days starting tomorrow. The new centres are aiming to have test results available within 24 hours.

A woman in her forties has died after a car crash in Nice at the weekend. Two cars were involved in a collision on the Promenade des Anglais in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Firefighters were called to a construction site in La Garde in the Var this morning after a man refused to come down from the top of a crane. Reports say that the man was a worker at the site who had just been told that he was being made redundant. Psychiatarists were also at the scene to speak with the employee who agreed to climb back to the ground after several hours of negotiations.

The road between Menton and Sospel has been fully re-opened. The RD 2566 was cut off by a landslide last November. One lane was re-opened in March with traffic controlled by traffic lights.

Two government ministers are visiting the Pas-de-Calais department today to hold discussions regarding the future of the Bridgestone tyre factory in Bethune. Agnes Pannier-Runacher, the Minister of Industry and Labour and Elisabeth Borne, the Minister of Labour, have been meeting local politicians, unions and management with the aim of avoiding closure of the Japanese-owned factory which employs over 800 workers.

The Monaco government has set up a new remote tele-service to help with the purchase of an ecological vehicle. Monaco has a generous subsidy for the purchase of vehicles emitting less than a certain amount of carbon dioxide, amounting to about 30% of the purchase price of a car up to a limit of 10,000 euros in some circumstances. Subsidies are also available for hybrid vehicles and electric bikes. The new online service speeds up the process of appying for a subsidy. 3,205 electric and hybrid vehicles are currently registered in the Principality, which is about 6.8% of all vehicles.

 

BUSINESS

European stock markets fell earlier today on fears over new coronavirus restrictions. In the UK, shares in many businesses in the hospitality and travel sectors were down heavily. This morning the UK government's chief medical adviser Professor Chris Whitty said that the UK should be prepared for significant restrictions to be in place for the next six months. He said that the UK could have up to 50,000 new coronavirus cases per day by mid-October.

Shares in HSBC fell to their lowest level since 1995 amid allegations of money laundering after the publication of data contained in leaked files. Shares in several other major banks also fell today.

The UK government has announced an extension to financial aid for railway companies. The new aid for a period of 6 to 18 months will help rail businsses during the continuing coronavirus crisis. The government also announced that it's ending the rail franchise system after 24 years of existence and aims to deliver what it calls "a simpler, more effective structure" which "will take shape over the coming months".

 

SPORT

Football...Leyton Orient have said that "a number" of players have tested positive for coronavirus. The club are due to play Spurs tomorrow. Leyton Orient said that discussions are being held with Public Health England.

Manchester City player Ilkay Gundogan has tested positive for the coronavirus. The club said that he's self-isolating for 10 days and will therefore miss tonight's match against Wolves. Kick off for that match is 9.15pm French time.

Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is moving to Chelsea after signing a new deal with the London club.

Tennis.. Simona Halep has won the Italian Open. She beat Karolina Pliskova, who had to retire through injury.

Motorsports... Organisers of next month's Fomula 1 Eifel Grand Prix have said that 20,000 spectators will be able to watch the race. The race is due to be held at the Nurburgring near Cologne which has capacity for about 100,000 spectators. Face masks will be mandatory and there will be designated seating to allow social distancing.

 

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