Evening Update Monday 28 September 2020

The Prefect of the Bouches du Rhone has said that fines will be issued as from today to restaurants and bars which are not closed as required by new regulations. All bars and restaurants in Marseille-Aix were forced to close at midnight last night. The restrictions will be reviewed after seven days. Christophe Mirmand said that bars and restaurants which open in breach of the restrictions may be forced to remain closed even after they have been lifted. The deputy mayor of Marseille, Samia Ghali, has said that the restrictions are "unjustified and unilateral" and that the municipal police will not apply government decisions. Restaurant owners in Marseille have once again been holding protests against the closure of their premises. Local reports say that about two hundred demonstrators gathered near the entrance to a motorway tunnel in the centre of the city this morning. The Administrative Court in Marseille is set to hear an appeal tomorrow against the Prefect's decree closing bars and restaurants. The appeal was filed by the President of the PACA Region, Renaud Muselier.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has announced additional financial help for certain businesses affected by the pandemic. 10,000 euros per month will be available to businesses which are "administratively closed" or those whose turnover has fallen by 80% because of the crisis. The figure had previously been set at 1,500 euros.

The municipality of Antibes Juan-les-Pins has released it's weekely update of coronavirus patients in hospital. In the week of September 21 to 27 there were 13 hospitalized coronavirus patients, 3 patients in intensive care and 1 death, which was the first since May 28.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, has said that there has been an improvement in health data in the Alpes-Maritimes, especially in the west of the department. In a tweet this morning the Mayor said that in 3 weeks the incidence has dropped by 43 points, the positivity rate is decreasing and the number of hospitalized cases is decreasing. He said that the goal is to make testing more efficient and effective which makes it possible to prioritize, to better treat the disease and to meet the needs of economic and social activity.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has announced extended coronavirus support measures for theatres in Nice. He said that as from this autumn, the City of Nice  will buy tickets from theaters as well as for performances by theatre troupes and companies. He said that this would be in addition to measures already taken such as the suspension of rents and compensation for losses, and various support measures would be extended into 2021. The measures were announced after the mayor held a meeting with representatives of local theatres this morning. He also confirmed that the Theatre Festival will be going ahead from October 5 to 18 and that further details would be made available on sanitary measures.

Elected officials in the Var were present at a meeting today which aims to fight poverty in the department. Evence Richard, Prefect of Var, and Marc Giraud, President of the Departmental Council, were amongst officials at the signing of the 2020 amendment to the convention on the strategy for the prevention and fight against poverty launched by President Macron two years ago. The amount of funds allocated to fight poverty in the department has been significantly increased from last year.

The Mayor of Puget-Théniers, Pierre Corporandy, was present at a foundation stone laying ceremony for a new fire and rescue centre at the weekend. There are 41 fire fighting personnel stationed at the current centre and the new facility will enable the training of firefighters for the surrounding areas.

Juan-les-Pins is hosting the “Pétanque des Toqués” petanque meeting today. The event at the Pinede Gould was started by chef Jacques Maximin in 2007 and taken over by Frédéric Ramos in 2019. It brings together Chefs de Cuisine, Pastry Chefs, their teams and many people from the restaurant professions to participate in a petanque competition. The highlight of the day was a lunch buffet consisting of all the dishes brought by each of the participants. This year, a cooking competition has also been held for members of the public.

Several areas of France recorded record low temperatures for September over the weekend. Meteo France said that in the Nancy area in north east France, the high on Saturday was just 9.5 degrees, beating the previous record of 9.6 degrees set in September 1931. The record low comes just eleven days after Nancy recorded a record monthly heatwave temperature for the city of 34.4 degrees. Unusually heavy snowfalls for this time of the year were also recorded in many mountainous areas of France over the weekend.



In the UK, Uber has won it's appeal against a decision by Transport for London not to renew its licence. The court found that Uber was a fit and proper person to hold a private hire vehicle operators licence and said that despite "historical failings" it had "sufficient confidence" that the company "no longer poses a risk  to public safety."

US casino business Caesars Entertainment has said that it's in advanced takeover talks with William Hill over a possible £2.9bn bid for the UK betting company. Caesars already owns a 20% stake in William Hill's US operations. William Hill has reportedly also received a takeover approach from US private equity firm Apollo.

Discount retailer Aldi has announced plans to open one hundred new stores and create 4,000 jobs in the UK. The plans are part of an investment of 1.3 billion pounds the German company is making in it's UK operations.



Football... A group of prominent figures in the football world have written a letter to the UK government urging it to help the game with a coronavirus rescue package. Signatories, which include former Football Association chairmen Greg Dyke and Lord Triesman, say that many EnglishFootball League and National League clubs are now preparing to "cease playing... and put their business into administration".

There are two games in the English Premier League this evening. Fulham play Aston Villa and Liverpool play Arsenal.

Tennis... Serena Williams has defeated Kristie Ahn in the first round of the French Open this afternoon. The final score was 7-6  6-0. Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova is through to the second round. She beat French player Oceane Dodin 6-3  7-5. Dominic Thiem beat Marin Cilic this afternoon 6-4  6-3  6-3.

Last local news

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A man has been remanded in custody over the deaths of two homeless people on the outskirts of Nice last week....