Evening Update Monday 24 May 2021

Vaccinations across France have today been opened to members of "priority professions" regardless of age or health situation, following an announcement made by Prime Minister Jean Castex last week. The opening of vaccinations for all adults is still scheduled to take place on 31 May, having being brought forward from the previously planned date of 15 June.

The Regional Health Agency in the Hauts-de-France has recommended that Lille football supporters who attended a large celebration yesterday take steps to reduce possible coronavirus tansmission. Lille defeated Angers yesterday to win the French League 1 title. Large crowds gathered in the town after the match. The ARS encouraged fans at the celebrations to implement barrier gestures, reduce contacts in the coming days, to take a "preventive test from midweek" and to isolate if necessary.

President Macron has announced that the World Health Organization will open its Health Academy in Lyon in 2023. In a statement online at the beginning of the WHO's World Health Assembly, he said that France is committed to investing over 120 million euros in the training centre which will be based in a biotechnology research centre in the city.

Meanwhile, an executive of the World Health Organization has expressed his support for President Macron's plan to confer a special honour on health workers who have lost their lives while fighting the pandemic. Jim Campbell, the WHO's Director of Health Workforce called it an example of leadership. At the opening of the meeting today, the head of the WHO said that at least 115,000 health workers worldwide have lost their lives due to Covid-19.

French Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin has announced a new measure in the government's fight against drugs trafficking. During a visit to Marseille this morning, he said that a fine of 135 euros will be introduced for lookouts whose function is to alert drugs traffickers to the approach of police. The new measure will come into force in October.

Train services between Ventimiglia and Nice were severely disrupted this morning after a power failure. Services between Ventimiglia and Menton were completely halted and were disrupted between Menton and Nice. Services have now mostly returned to normal.

The bodies of two people have been recovered from a lake in the Bouches-du-Rhone. The two men are belived to have been the occupants of a light plane which was reprted missing yesterday evening. Enquiries are continuing.

About twenty firefighters from the Alpes Maritimes supported by firefighters from the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence fought a fire at a house in Puget Theniers yesterday. Rapid intervention made it possible to limit the fire to the 2nd floor of the house.

A maritime pollution control exercise is taking place off Corsica later this week. The exercise will involve personnel and vessels from Monaco, France and Italy and takes place within the framework of the RAMOGE Agreement. The agreement, which was signed in 1976, provides for scientific, technical and administrative cooperation between the Monegasque, French and Italian governments for the protection and preservation of the region's marine environment.


BUSINESS

Cinema operator Cineworld has reported a strong opening weekend in the UK. It said that this weekend's performance went beyond its expectations as customers were eager to return to the movies. It said that over 97% of its cinemas in the United States have also resumed operations and it anticipates that most of its cinemas in the rest of the world will be open by the end of the month.

UK energy regulator Ofgem has announced a £300 million investment for over 200 low carbon projects including new infrastructure to support 1,800 new ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging points at motorway service areas.  A further 1,750 charge points will be supported in towns and cities. Ofgem Chief executive Jonathan Brearley said that the investment "is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40 billion of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years".

 

SPORT

Motorsports... Former FIA president Max Mosley has died at the age of 81. His death was confirmed by ex-Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. Mosley served three terms as president of the FIA from 1993 to 2009.

Football...Real Madrid player Sergio Ramos has been left out of Spain's Euro 2020 squad. The 35 year old has been struggling with injury over recent months. The decision means that there are no players from Real Madrid in the squad.

Meanwhile, Hal Robson-Kanu has been left out of the Wales squad for a Euro 2020 training camp in Portugal. He was one of the major players of the Wales team in Euro 2016 and had retired from international football but recently reversed that decision. Cardiff City midfielder Will Vaulks has also been omitted.

Tennis...British player Francesca Jones has been defeated in the first round of French Open qualifying today. She lost 6-1  6-2  to Vera Zvonareva, who has previously reached the French Open quarter finals.

Cycling... Team Ineos rider Egan Bernal has won today's 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia. The stage was shortened because of bad weather.

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