Evening Update Thursday 22nd April 2021

The Prime Minister Jean Castex  has confirmed the end of the 10km travel restriction and requirement for an attestation from May 3rd. He also said the government intends to open shops, terraces and restaurants but did not give a timeline. Neither did he mention any change to the 7pm curfew.

Monsieur Castex said the country was currently at the top of the third wave of Covid and must remain on full alert. Accordingly, current international travel restrictions with countries outside the EU will remain in place.

He said schools will reopen as planned in the next week and student safety will be supported with the supply of up to 64 million self-tests.

The Prime Minister also congratulated medical workers at vaccination centres and the increasing speed at which the population is being vaccinated. He said the majority of people most at risk have been vaccinated and his hope is the entire population will have received at least one dose by the end of summer. Regarding concerns with the AstraZeneca vaccine, he said it would only be offered to people over 55. 

France’s vaccination program continues to gather speed. 18 million doses have already been administered nationally, which will increase when the new Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine rolls from this Saturday. In the Alpes-Maritimes, 26% of people have received at least one jab, lowering the incidence rate to 203 per 100,000. That’s almost half the national average.

The city of Nice is expecting to deliver a record 10,000 injections this weekend alone, with a two day marathon at the Palais des Expositions.  After last weekend’s failed mega-session with the unpopular AstraZeneca vaccine, this weekend medical staff will be use Pfizer. The injections are offered to people over 55, who are priority personnel or have underlying medical conditions. There may be time slots at the end of the day for people who do not meet these conditions, but you must have registered your interest to receive the vaccine with the city website at: nice.fr

People who receive a Covid 19 jab can store proof of the vaccination, and any negative Covid test results, on the official French Anti Covid mobile phone app. France has become the first country in Europe to adopt the electronic certification model and could prepare for a gradual lifting of travel restrictions and access to certain places and events. However, the government has ruled out its introduction in bars or restaurants for the time being.

Finally, on Covid, a pharmacist in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin claims to have received death threats from anti-Vaxxers. The threats were made in text messages and emails. The pharmacist has filed a complaint with Menton police but insists he will continue to vaccinate as it is the only way out of the health crisis.

Finally, in other news, the rail link between Nice and Tende is to reopen from the 3rd of May. The line to the upper Roya has been closed since Storm Alex caused extensive damage to the area last October. The repair works carried out by SNCF cost in the region of twenty million euro.

BUSINESS

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has announced that companies can continue to take out a loan guaranteed by the State until the end of this year. The state backed scheme was due to end on June 30th.

Nestlé says it is more confident of surpassing 4% organic sales growth on the back of a strong performance in the first quarter. However they shall wait before revisiting its full-year guidance. CEO Mark Schneider said the company wanted to have one more quarter of COVID-19 recovery before making any changes to its 2021 guidance.

Credit Suisse has asked investors for almost $2bn to rebuild its finances after suffering what they called unacceptable losses. The Swiss banking giant has been rocked by two high profile bankruptcies. One with a US based hedge fund which collapsed after taking on too much risk, and another with a financial firm who hit the headlines over its funding of the UK's Liberty Steel in addition to lobbying by former Prime Minister David Cameron. Shares in Credit Suisse have dropped by 5%.

SPORT

Football - AS Monaco are through to the semi-finals of the Coupe de France after an exciting two-nil victory over Olympique Lyonnais last night. The victory also bolsters Monaco’s chances for their League 1 clash against Lyon on Sunday week. Lyon sit fourth in the league, with Monaco ahead by just one point in third place. 

The President of Real Madrid has said the European Super League is on ‘standby’ despite nine of the twelve founding teams withdrawing. Florentino Perez said the clubs have not actually left yet as they are committed to legally binding contracts. 

Formula 1 - The 12th Historic Grand Prix goes ahead this weekend in Monaco. Only the qualifying races and the race itself will be open to a greatly reduced number of fans, where just 6,500 people will be allowed in the stands. That’s about one-third of normal capacity. In addition, all spectators must be Monaco residents, employees or clients of hotels in the Principality. Restaurants will be able to be open until 9.30pm but there will be no sale or consumption of alcohol on public roads. Similar measures will apply to the electric e-Prix which takes place on the 8th of May.

Rugby - Poppy Cleall will start at number eight for England's Women's Six Nations final against France pushing captain Sarah Hunter to the bench. Emily Scarratt will lead the defending champions from outside centre. The final kicks on in Twickenham on Saturday at 3pm.

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