Evening Update Monday 24 October 2022

A French government body has recommended the wearing of a mask in certain situations to reduce the incidence of Covid-19. COVARS, the new committee for monitoring and anticipating health risks, which has replaced the Scientific Council, has recommended the wearing of a mask in enclosed spaces. However, at this stage it is still a recommendation, there is no obligation. The body said that wearing a mask on transport and in closed and poorly ventilated spaces where there are people is "a gesture of solidarity with the most fragile".

Damage to properties in the Pas-de-Calais is being assessed after a heavy storm hit the area last night. A tornado touched down in the village of Bihucourt. Rooves were ripped off many houses and reports say that eight houses have been completely destroyed. Despite the ferocity of the weather, there have been no reported casualties but many residents in the village of about 350 people have had to move to other accomodation.

Drought conditions are continuing in the Var. All fire is prohibited by decree of the Prefect. A recent prefectural decree extended the "red period" of drought measures until the end of this month. More details can  be found on the prefecture's website www.var.gouv.fr

Meanwhile, the Var prefecture has issued a reminder that cars must have snow chains or be equipped with winter tyres in 28 municipalities in the north of the department starting from 1 November. The requirement is in force through until the end of March next year. The list of affected departments can be found on the prefecture's website.

Certain boxes of Jeff de Bruges "Choco'mauves" marshmallow bears are being recalled. The manufacturer said that the labelling doesn't state that traces of nut allergen were present in the dark chocolate bears. The date of minimum durability of the affected products was between 24 February 2023 and 31 October 2023. It doesn't apply to products sold after the 21st October 2022. More information is available on https://rappel.conso.gouv.fr/fiche-rappel/8435/Interne



Business activity in the Eurozone has fallen at its fastest pace in two years according to a survey of purchasing managers by S&P Global. It said that the Eurozone economy fell into a steeper downturn in October, as output contracted at the fastest rate since April 2013 except for pandemic lockdowns.

Meanwhile, October flash data for the UK has indicated contraction, with the Purchasing Managers Index at a 21-month low. The company said that "intense inflationary pressures, escalating political uncertainty and rising interest rates led to downbeat sentiment".

The UK parlaiment's Work and Pension Committee has announced an inqu