Evening Update Thursday 29 April 2021

President Macron is set to reveal the French government's deconfinement strategy in an interview to be published in tomorrow's editions of France's regional newspapers, instead of by his usual television address. Reports this afternoon in French media suggest that the President will say that restrictions will be lifted in four stages between May 3 and June 30.

From May 3 May travel restrictions are set to be lifted during the day and between regions but the curfew start time remains at 7pm.

From 19 May restaurant terraces, non-essential shops and cultural establishments as well as outdoor sports facilities, subject to limits on the number of people, will reportedly be allowed to reopen and the curfew start time will be moved to 9pm.

The reports say that from 9 June cafes, bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen indoors, and the curfew start time will be moved to 11pm. Sports halls may be allowed to reopen subject to the local health situation. It's also intended that a "health pass" will be introduced on this date to permit the attending of cultural events of up to 5,000 people. Foreign tourist who have a "health pass" will be able to enter France.

The final stage will reportedly be on 30 June when the curfew is expected to be lifted. Discotheques will have to remain closed. All the changes will be subject to the evolution of the health situation. The reopenings will be subject to an incidence rate of 400 per 100,000 people not being exceeded.

Jean Leonetti, the Mayor of Antibes Juan-les-Pins has said that the number of people vaccinated at the local vaccination centre and the hospital in Antibes has now passed 40,000. He said that the health situation "makes a gradual deconfinement possible".

Elected officials including Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi attended a meeting this morning to discuss the region's Cycling Plan for the next five years. The mayor said that the cycling plan fits into the transport plan for 2040 as well as the Climate Plan. Since 2008, the City of Nice and the Nice Cote d'Azur Metropole have doubled their cycling facilities. Currently, there is a 179 km cycle network, 84 km of which are in Nice.

The police officer who was killed by an attacker in a suburb of Paris last week, will be awarded the Legion d'Honneur. Prime Minister Jean Castex will make the award during a tribute cermony to be held in Paris tomorrow.

 

BUSINESS

Heathrow airport has recorded a further £329 million loss in the first quarter of the year bringing total losses since the start of the pandemic to £2.4bn. The company said that  only 1.7 million passengers travelled through the airport in the quarter, down 91% compared to the same quarter in 2019.  It said that continuing uncertainty over Government policy means it has reduced its passenger forecast for the year to a range between 13 and 36 million, compared to 81 million in 2019. The airport said that the UK Border Force’s ability "to provide an acceptable service for arriving passengers" remains a primary concern surrounding the restart of international travel. Some passengers have reportedly faced six-hour delays at the border.

UK telecommunications company BT has confirmed that it is in talks with several businesses about the future of its sports broadcasting division. BT said that early talks were being held "with a number of select strategic partners" and the discussions "may or may not lead to an outcome".

The Swedish economy grew at a faster than expected rate of 1.1% in the first quarter of this year, which is over twice the amount forecast. GDP rose by 2.1% in March, according to data from the government statistics agency.

New figures show that unemployment in Germany rose slightly in April. Unemployment rose by 9,000 and now stands at 2.76 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. Analysts had been expecting a slight fall in the numbers.

 

SPORT

Cricket... It's been the first day of the Sri Lanka against Banglaesh Test. Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat and were 291 for 1 after 90 overs at the close of play.

Football... There are more semi-final first leg ties in the Europa league tonight. Manchester United play Roma and Villareal play Arsenal.

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