Evening Update Thursday 24 June 2021

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced a "seven day action plan" to fight the delta coronavirus variant in the Landes department in south-west France. The government said yesterday that the variant accounts for 70% of new cases in the department. On a visit to the Landes today with Health Minister Olivier Veran, the Prime Minister said that the number of vaccines available in the department would be increased from 40,000 to 60,000 doses in the next seven days. Testing will also be increased. He said that at the end of the seven days a decision will be taken on whether or not ease restrictions in that department on 1 July.

Meanwhile, speaking during a visit to Brussels this afternoon President Macron said that "we must all be vigilant" against the Delta variant which he said "spreads much faster than the previous variants" and requires an even faster vaccination campaign.

Covid-19 testing and vaccination in Monaco are being brought together in one centre. Due to the cultural events that will take place this summer at the Grimaldi Forum and the Espace Léo Ferré, the vaccination and screening centres currently located there will be transferred to the ground floor of the Auditorium Rainier III. People who wish to be vaccinated will have to go to the Auditorium Rainier III from tomorrow, Friday June 25. For those wishing to get tested it will be necessary to go to the Auditorium Rainier III from Thursday 1 st of July. An appointment remains necessary in both cases.

An investigation has been opened after shots were fired at a TGV train near the Saint-Charles railway station in Marseille yesterday evening. Police have reportedly found bullet impacts on the exterior of the train. Nobody was injured in the incident.

The Monaco government has announced that the beaches of the Principality will be non-smoking during the summer period, from this Saturday June 26 to Thursday September 30. The measures includes the Larvotto beach, which will soon be reopened to the public, as well as the solarium on the digue at the port.  They apply to both tobacco and electronic cigarettes. Certain areas, defined by signs, will however be reserved for smokers. Smoking is still allowed on the terraces of restaurants and bars.

The A8 motorway was closed in both directions near Aix-en-Provence at the height of this morning's rush hour. A serious accident involving a motorcycle and another vehicle occurred at about 8.00am. An emergency services helicopter was on the scene. The motorway has now been reopened to traffic.

The city of Nice is installing the first of 10 new noise monitoring displays on the avenue Reine Victoria in Cimiez. The displays are being put in place to fight against noise pollution and improve the quality of life of local residents. The displays are a first in France and are connected to the urban supervision center of the municipal police. As of this autumn, Nice will be testing the first French automatic noise control radar, with a test scheduled for November on the Avenue Félix Faure.

The Cannes municipality has said that 21 fines have been issued to vehicles since mid-April for the illegal dumping of waste on public roads. The fines were issued after vehicles were observed by local video surveillance cameras. Cannes has 713 video-surveillance cameras deployed throughout the municipality, which is the most dense network in France with 1 camera for every 105 inhabitants.

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard has visited the construction site of the new elderly care facility being constructed next to the hospital in Cannes. The new facility of almost 19,000 square metres will have 314 places and will replace the existing care centres of Broussailles and Isola Bella. It's scheduled to be completed in 2023.


The business climate in France has improved significantly again in June according to government statistics agency INSEE. The indicator calculated from the responses of business leaders in the main market sectors is up by 5 points to 113, which is the highest level since mid-2007, and far above its pre-health crisis level of 105. INSEE said that the improvement in the business climate is mainly driven by increased optimism in the services sector. New data also released today shows an increase in business confidence in Germany.

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has voted unanimously to keep interest rates at their historic low of 0.1%. Members also voted 8-1 to continue with the Bank's existing asset purchase scheme. It said that "the near-term strength in inflation is expected to be transitory". The Bank also indicated that it had raised its expectations for UK economic growth for June, which it now expects to be about 2.5% below its pre-Covid level.



Euro2020...The final group games in the tournament have now been played and the games for the last 16 start at the weekend. On Saturday Wales play Denmark and Italy face Austria. On Sunday the Netherlands play the Czech Republic and Belgium play Portugal. Next Monday it’s Croatia against Spain and France against Switzerland and on Tuesday England face Germany and Sweden play Ukraine.

Motorsports...It's been announced that a full-capacity crowd of about 140,000 spectators will be allowed to attend the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next month. Silverstone confirmed that it has been included in the latest phase of the UK Government’s Event Research Programme. It said that ticket holders will be asked for either proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of arrival at Silverstone or proof of full vaccination, the second dose having been received at least 14 days prior to the first day of attending the Grand Prix. It added that specific conditions of entry will be announced to ticket holders in the next ten days.

Tennis.... Andy Murray has been selected for the Great Britain team at the Tokyo Olympics. He'll play in the men's singles alongside Dan Evans and team up with Joe Salisbury in the doubles.

Rugby Union... Scotland player Zander Fagerson has pulled out of the British and Irish Lions side to face Japan because of a back spasm. His place will be taken by Ireland's Tadhg Furlong.

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