Evening Update Monday 4 January 2021

French Minister of Health Olivier Veran has said that "several thousand" coronavirus vaccinations have been carried out in France today. The government has been accused of rolling out its vaccination program too slowly compared to other countries. The Director General of Health Insurance has said this afternoon that authorities will release a daily update on the number of vaccinations carried out every day as from tomorrow.

President Macron has been holding a meeting this afternoon with Prime Minister Jean Castex and several ministers to take stock of the situation regarding the coronavirus vaccine rollout.

The CHU Hospital in Nice has today launched a vaccination campaign for professionals working at the hospital. All hospital professionals over the age of 50 are eligible for the vaccination as well as personnel under 50 at serious risk. The vaccination campaign potentially concerns 2,500 hospital professionals within the hospital. The hospital is also continuing to vaccinate elderly care unit residents and long-care unit patients.

The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has said that rural areas of Metropole Nice Cote d'Azur will benefit from the deployment of the vaccination plan "very soon".  The mayor added that 20,000 people have already registered on the Nice Covid-19 vaccine registration website. The address is https://vaccincovid19.nice.fr/VC19/

Meanwhile, the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, has renewed his call for a municipal vaccine distribution system to be put in place in Cannes. The proposals were rejected by the Ministry of Solidarity and Health last month. The town hall has called the rollout of vaccines in France so far a "fiasco" and is redoubling its efforts to get its plans authorised. These include the opening of large vaccination centers to allow people to receive a vaccine as soon as possible, together with a network of smaller capacity vaccination points. The town hall said that these municipal plans proved their effectiveness when the city of Cannes rolled out the distribution of alternative masks to Cannes residents in April. In November the municipality acquired two low-temperature freezers meeting the conservation requirements for the storage of vaccines, in order to avoid breaking the cold chain and to get as close as possible to people being vaccinated.

Meteo France have yellow warnings  for icy conditions and avalanches in the Alpes Maritimes until 4pm tomorrow, Tuesday. There's a yellow warning for icy conditions in the Var from 6am to midday tomorrow.

VINCI Autoroutes are reminding motorway drivers using some of the motorways in south-east France to take extra care because of snow. Snow has already been falling today in parts of the Var and they're saying that traffic conditions could be difficult today on the western part of the A8, also on the A9 motorway in the Gard department, on the A54 and the south of the A7 and on the A51 between Manosque and La Saulce.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex will be visiting Toulon tomorrow. He will meet local officials and sign a plan involving the state and the local region. The Prime Minister's vist was originally scheduled to take place before Christmas but was postponed because he had been a contact of President Macron who had tested positive for the coronavirus.


The shareholders of French auto maker PSA have given approval to its merger with Fiat Chrysler. The deal creates the world's fourth largest carmaker and brings together such well-known brands as Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall, Fiat, Jeep, Chrysler, Maserati and Alfa Romeo.

New figures released today by the Bank of England show that UK mortgage approvals for house purchases increased to 105,000 in November. It's the highest figure since August 2007.

UK gaming company Entain, which owns Ladbrokes, has confirmed that it has received proposals from MGM Resorts International concerning a possible offer for the company. Entain said that the proposal significantly undervalues the company and its prospects.  

A widely watched survey of manufacturing activity in the UK rose to a 37 month high in December. The IHS Markit Purchasing managers index rose to 57.5 in December compared to 55.6 in November. However, the rise mainly reflected a boost from last minute preparations before the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December as EU based customers brought forward their purchases from UK manufacturers.



Cricket... England player Moeen Ali has tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Sri Lanka for the tour which begins on 14 January. He had tested negative before departure. He'll now isolate for 10 days. Chris Woakes has been deemed as a possible close contact and will undergo a period of self-isolation and further testing.

Crowd capacity for the third Test between Australia and India has been reduced to just 25% after a Covid-19 outbreak. The original intention had been for the 48,000 capacity Sydney Cricket Ground to be filled to 50%. The third Test is scheduled to get underway on 7 January.

Football... There’s one game in the English Premier League tonight with the leaders Liverpool away at Southampton.

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