Evening Update Monday 22 March 2021

The French Minister of Health, Olivier Veran, has said that at least 35 large vaccination centres will be established across France. The "mega centres" will be put in place by firefighters and the health service of the army. He said that the centres were being established to allow the use of all the vaccines to be delivered from mid April to "massively vaccinate" the population.

Reports in French media say that the Minister of Labour, Elisabeth Borne, is being treated in hospital. The minister tweeted on 14 March that she had contracted Covid-19. The reports say that she has not been in intensive care and her condition is improving. Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, announced on Saturday that she had also tested positive for Covid-19.

The French government has said that it's no longer necessary for residents of the sixteen departments, including the Alpes-Maritimes, which are in lockdown to have a completed certificate for outings within a 10km radius of their home. However, you will still have to carry proof of your address.

A decision has been taken by the Nice Cote d'Azur Metropole on the extension of tram line 1. Several options have been under consideration - a bus service,  a train-tram or a tram. After consultation with all the mayors concerned by the project and the metropolitan services, the solution of a new tram line was adopted at a meeting today. Nice Mayor and President of the Nice Cote d'Azur Metropole Christian Estrosi said that Phase 1, going from Pont-Michel to Ariane Nord, should start in the first quarter of 2026. Phase 2, from Ariane Nord to La Trinité is scheduled for 2027. Phase 3, underground from La Trinité to Drap, in 2028. Three relay parks will also be created.

The Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes and the Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin have today both issued a reminder to British nationals who moved to France before 1 January 2021, that they can apply for a "withdrawal agreement" residence permit via the French government's online service. The online portal has been in operation since last October.

Two people have been arrested in connection with vandalism and theft at the Eglise de Saint-Isidore in Nice over the weekend. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi expressed his thanks to the national police officers involved in the arrests and said that scared objects taken from the church had been recovered.

 

BUSINESS

Food delivery business Deliveroo has announced the price range for the initial public offering of its shares. The range implies an estimated market capitalisation of between £7.6 billion and £8.8 billion. It said that the total value of transactions it processed on its platform in January and February grew 121% year on year.

Kingfisher, which owns several major DIY businesses, has reported a 7.1% rise in sales for the full year to the end of January. It said that there had been strong growth of online customers. The company operates B&Q and Screwfix in the UK and Ireland and Castorama in France, amongst other brands.

Trading on the Istanbul stock exchange was suspended for a period today after a sharp fall in share prices triggered automatic circuit breakers.  The Turkish Lira also fell heavily earlier today after the country's central bank governor was sacked by the president over the weekend.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority has said that it's investigating the acquisition of Simon & Schuster's book publishing business by Penguin Random House. The CMA said that it is inviting comments on the transaction. Penguin Random House is owned by German media company Bertelsmann.


SPORT

Rugby Union... Scotland have announced their squad for their Six Nations game against France on Friday. Sean Maitland and Fraser Brown don't make the squad. Neither does Jonny Gray who misses out again because of injury. Adam Hastings is included after a three-match suspension.

Football... Reports say that former Liverpool and Real Madrid player Xabi Alonso has been offered the job of manger of Borussia Monchengladbach. He's currently the manager of real Sociedad's B team.

Olympics... Tributes have been paid to a surfer from El Salvador who died after being struck by lightning. 22 year old Katherine Diaz was training for a tournament which could have resulted in a place at Tokyo Olympics. Surfing is featuring as an Olympic sport for the first time at this summer's games.

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