Evening Update Thursday 21 May 2020

EasyJet has announced that it's planning to resume flights between Nice and London Gatwick. The airline said today that it was aiming to restart flights on internal domestic routes within the UK and France as from 15 June and flights would also be reintroduced on a small number of international routes. As well as flights between Nice and Gatwick, fights will also operate between Nice and Geneva. Internal French destinations served from Nice by EasyJet will include Paris Charles de Gaulle, Bordeaux, Lille, Nantes and Toulouse. A new range of additional measures will be in place including enhanced aircraft disinfection for EasyJet aircraft. Customers, cabin and ground crew will be required to wear masks and there will initially be no food service on board flights. As regards social distancing on the aircraft, the airline said that, where possible, crew will invite customers to sit at a distance from customers not in their party where seats are available.

The Fete de la Musique concert on the Place Massena in Nice has been cancelled. For the past few years, the concert broadcast by France 2 television, has been one of the biggest gatherings on the Riviera for the 21st of June festivities. However, the concert won't be taking place this year and will be broadcast from Paris instead, without an audience.

A new banner in support of local businesses has been put in place on the front of the Palais de Festivals in Cannes. A banner is also in place on the ferry terminal. The banners are to draw attention to the Cannes town hall's  "support our traders, relocate our purchases" campaign to help local businesses.
A 28 year old man has been sentenced after a car chase between Nice and Cagnes sur Mer on Sunday. The court found that he was driving under the influence of alcohol, without a licence and without insurance. The Romainan national was also living in France illegally.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has attended the reopening of one of the highest roads in our region. The Col de la Bonette is over 2,700 metres above sea level and snow still lay on the ground during yesterdays opening ceremony, at which other local officials were also present. The pass will be still be closed overnight, from 8pm to 10am for the next two weeks, because of risks from ice.

Two cars have been impounded by police after they were clocked doing about 240 km per hour on the A7 motorway in the Drome department this morning. The drivers of the two cars, both from the Var, and their passangers were all given fines for being more than 100km from their homes without valid reason.

Unions representing employees of Air France subsidiary Hop! have accused Air France management of sacrificing inter-regional flights under "the pretext of non-profitability". Air France Director General Ben Smith has said that Hop! is operationally too complex with costs that are too high but that the company wants to keep the regional airline operating.

Over one hundred workers at an abbatoir in Brittany have tested positive for the coronavirus. The regional health authority covering the Côtes-d'Armor department announced that a total of 109 employees had tested positive following two rounds of testing over the last few days.

Meteo France have a Yellow weather warning for storms in the Alpes Maritimes until 8pm this evening.


New figures released by the US Department of Labor this afternoon show that 2.4 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week. It brings the total number of first time claimants to 38.6 million since the beginning of the pandemic.

US retailer Macy's has said that it estimates it has made a loss of between 905 million and 1.11 billion dollars in the 13 weeks to 2 May. However, the company said that its online sales continued to improve. Macy's group also owns Bloomingdales. Two other US department store chains, JC Penney and Neiman Marcus, filed for bankruptcy protection recently.

Astra Zeneca has said that it's received one billion dollars of funding from a division of the US Health Department to develop a coronavirus vaccine. It said it had placed an order for 400 million doses of a vaccine being developed with the University of Oxford, 300 million of which will reportedly go to the United States. The vaccine is still at an early stage of development and is as yet unproven but the company said the aim is to begin deliveries in September.

In the UK, Whitbread has said that that its sales of food and beverages and accomodation fell by 99% in the past seven weeks. It is aiming to raise one billion pounds via a rights issue which the company said would allow it to take advantage of future opportunities in addition to helping its current finances. Whitbread owns brands including Premier Inn as well as restaurant chains Beefeater and Brewers Fayre. It also previously owned Costa Coffee, which it sold to Coca-Cola in 2018.

Venezuela has begun legal action to gain access to gold the country has stored with the Bank of England. The gold, valued at almost one billion dollars, is part of Venezuela's central bank reserves. The UK doesn't recognise Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela's legitimate leader.


Football... The English Football League has said that clubs will still be promoted and relegated from the Championship, League One and League Two if seasons are ended. Play-offs will also be played, but with no more than four teams.

Olympics... In an interview with the BBC, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has said that he understands why the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games would have to be cancelled if it can't take place next summer. Local organisers have said they have no back-up plan if the Olymics can't go ahead next year. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has admitted it may be "difficult" to stage the Games if Japan doesn't successfully contain the virus and Bach said that the IOC was relying on the World Health Organization for advice in this area.

Cricket... Two overseas players at Northampton have had their contracts cancelled by mutual consent. Pakistan player Faheem Ashraf was signed as an all-format player for the first half of the season and West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard was set to play in the T20 Blast. Several English county sides have cancelled their contracts with overseas players for 2020 because of the pandemic and uncertainty over when the English season might start.


Last local news

Evening Update Monday 20th March 2023

About a dozen petrol stations around the Alpes-Maritimes - and more than 60 in the Var - are suffering supply shortages today, following strikes at oi... Evening Update Monday 20th March 2023 Read More


Demonstrations against the pension reform

Access to the hospital in Cimiez in Nice has been temporarily blocked this Monday morning. Demonstrations against the pension reform Read More


French and Riviera News Monday 20th March 2023

Speaking to French media this Monday morning oil refinery unions have advised motorists to fill up their tanks as strike action against the pension re... French and Riviera News Monday 20th March 2023 Read More


Evening Update Friday 17 March 2023

Two motions of censure have been filed in the National Assembly this afternoon in protest at the government’s use of article 49.3 of the French consti... Evening Update Friday 17 March 2023 Read More


French and Riviera News Friday 17th March 2023

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Paris, Rennes, Marseille and Lille after the French government deployed the emergency powers of Arti... French and Riviera News Friday 17th March 2023 Read More