Evening Update Thursday 22 October 2020

The Alpes Maritimes and the Var are on a new list of 38 departments which are being put under curfew by the French government. The curfew will come into effect at midnight on Friday and will be in force from 9pm to 6am for a period of six weeks. A total of 54 departments will now be covered by the curfew.

Prime Minister Jean Castex gave a press conference this evening giving details of which departments are being covered by the imposition of a curfew. He said that the health situation has continued to deteriorate over the past few days, that the coming weeks will be hard and that hospital services will be put under strain. He said that the "R" Rate or reproduction rate of the virus stands at about 1.35. Minister of Health Olivier Veran, who was also present at the press conference, said that in August there were 10 cases per 100,000 being diagnosed in France compared to 250 per 100,000 at the moment and that without new measures there would be 50,000 new cases per day in 15 days from now.

French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, has said that the nuclear submarine Pearle will be repaired. The submarine, which is based in Toulon, was severely damaged by fire in June whilst it was undergoing works. The minister said that the damaged front part of the vessel will be removed and replaced with the front of another French submarine. The works will take place in Cherbourg.

The reception of the town hall in Cogolin has been closed because of a case of coronavirus being detected in the building. The decision was taken to close the building to the public and isolate all the agents who will work either from home or in individual offices. All the agents will be tested on Monday, with the aim of reopening on Tuesday. Town hall services can still be contacted by email or phone. There is more information on www.cogolin.fr

It's been announced that the Christmas Market in Strasbourg will take place without any chalets this year because of the coronavirus situation. The market is one of the largest in Europe, with about 300 chalets and two million visitors. However, the mayor of Strasbourg said that several other features of the market will be retained.

The city of Nice has been awarded a distinction by the Villes et Villages Fleuris organization. The label rewards municipalities' commitment to improving the quality of life and attractiveness by flowers, landscape and plants. Nice has held a distinction since 1975. With one tree for every 5 inhabitants, 417 hectares of "green nature" and 178 Parks and Gardens, Nice is among the greenest big cities in France. Menton has also been awarded a distinction this year.



Airline operator IAG has said it will operate no more than 30% of its flights for the remainer of this year compared to last year. The owner of British Airways, Iberea and Aer Lingus reported a loss of €1.3bn for the July to September period compared to a profit of €1.4bn for the same period in 2019. Revenue in the quarter fell by 83%.

Rail services in Wales are being nationalised following significant falls in passenger numbers during the pandemic. As from next February the Transport for Wales rail franchise will be brought under Welsh Government control. Welsh Economy Minister Ken Skates said the government had stepped in "to stabilise the network and keep it running".

A new survey by the Office for National Statistics in the UK suggests that 17% of businesses in the hospitality sector say they face a high risk of insolvency. 21% said they face a "moderate" risk of insolvency.

Consumer goods company Unilever has announced underlying sales up by 4.4% in the third quarter. Beauty & Personal Care underlying sales grew 3.8% and Home Care products 6.7%. Foods & Refreshment, including brands such as Ben & Jerry's and Magnum grew 3.7% as consumers continued to eat at home during the pandemic.



Motorsports... Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are both leaving the Haas Formula 1 team at the end of the 2020 season. Haas are currently ninth in the constructors standings and are set to have an entirely new driver line-up for the 2021 season.

Nico Rosberg has announced that he's taking part in the forthcoming Extreme E racing series. His team, Rosberg Extreme Racing, is the ninth team to sign up to the series. Races will be held in five remote locations across the world to raise awareness of climate change.

Football... Europa League matches continue tonight with Spurs at home to LASK in Group J, Arsenal visit Rapid Vienna in Group B, Nice travel to Bayer Leverkusen in Group C. Rangers visit Standard Liege in Group D, Celtic are at home to AC Milan in Group H and Leicester host Zorya Luhansk in Group G.

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