Evening Update Thursday 5 August 2021

The French Constitutional Council has this afternoon approved the provisions in the health bill providing for the extension of the health pass and compulsory vaccination for caregivers. The health pass will therefore be mandatory for admission to restaurants and cafes as well as long distance trains. It's expected that may take effect from next Monday, 9 August. The Council also confirmed that the provisions of the bill requiring a health pass in certain shopping centres are valid. The Council approved the health pass in hospitals if it isn't "an obstacle" to access to health care. However, the Council has not approved the proposed compulsory ten day isolation period for those who test positive for Covid-19, saying that it deprived people of their liberty without "an individual decision based on an assessment of administrative or judicial authority". The judges also rejected the proposed early termination of a CDD or interim employment contract for non-presentation of a health pass.

Locally, the President of the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Region, Renauld Muselier has said that whatever people think of the Health Pass it will help keep establishments open and we must help our restaurateurs, cafe owners, culture and leisure professionals to apply it.

Caregivers in Marseille have staged industrial action today in protest at the compulsory vaccination provisions in the legislation.

French Health Minister Olivier Veran has been in our region this afternoon. Visiting a hospital in Aix-en-Provence he said that locally in eight days the the number of people admitted for Covid-19 has multiplied by four. Regarding the increase in admissions, the Health Minister said that caregivers had "the feeling of being a bit like before a tsunami".

President Macron has said that a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine will be offered to "the most fragile and the oldest". Speaking in a video posted on Instagram, the President said that "it is now established that to in fact fight against this virus it takes boosters and it will probably take a third dose, not for everyone right away but in any case for the most fragile and the oldest". As regards timing, he said that the government expects to start offering third doses to people from around the start of the school year.

The President also said that a health pass will not be required for students to enter schools. He said that "for lessons, no health pass, from nursery school to college".

President Macron has said that in the coming months, France will provide 3 million doses of vaccine to Indonesia with the goal of a first delivery of 1.3 million doses by the end of August. He said that "in the face of COVID-19, we are fighting a global fight".

The number of Covid-19 tests performed in France continues to grow rapidly. Government statistics office Drees said that between 26 July and 1 August, just over 4.1 million tests were performed, up from slightly over 3.6 million in the previous week.

The body of a diver was recovered in the Var yesterday evening. The Maritime Prefecture said that emergency services received a call from the daughter of the 55 year old freediver after her father hadn't risen to the surface. A helicopter and diving team were dispatched to the scene at la Calanque de Figuerolles near La Ciotat. The divers found the man's body in the water.

The Prefect of the Var has issued a decree placing the  Argens and Agay watershed in "Drought Crisis".  The state of Drought Crisis is the highest level of measures provided for in the drought plan and involves a wide range of restrictions on the use of water. It concerns 73 municipalities in the department. A "Drought Alert" has also been issued for the watershed of coastal rivers which concerns 46 municipalities, as well as for the Var part of the the Arc watershed impacting the municipalities of Pourcieux and Pourrières. Further details can be found at www.var.gouv.fr


The Bank of England has kept interest rates at their historic low of 0.1% and has kept its level of bond purchases unchanged. However, it said that if the economy "evolves broadly in line with its central projections this month, some modest tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period is likely to be necessary to be consistent with meeting the inflation target sustainably in the medium term".

The Bank also said that UK GDP is expected to have risen by 5% in the second quarter of this year, leaving it around 4% below its pre-pandemic level and slightly stronger than expected in the Bank's May Report.

New car registrations in the UK have fallen to their lowest July level since 1998. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that the July performance was down 22.3% on the average recorded over the past decade, as the ongoing semiconductor shortage and the so-called ‘pingdemic’ impacted on both supply and demand. However, the growth in plug-in vehicles continued with battery electric vehicles accounting for 9.0% of registrations, while plug-in hybrids reached 8.0%.

Retailer Frasers Group has said that Mike Ashley will step down as Chief Executive in May 2022. The company said that it is in talks with its curent Head of Elevation, Michael Murray, about taking over the Chief Executive role and that Ashley will remain on the board.



Olympics...France are through to the final of the handball tournament after defeating Egypt 27-23.

France's Steven Da Costa won gold in the karate in the under 67kg category.

Holly Bradshaw has picked up Team GB's 51st medal in Tokyo by winning bronze in the pole vault .

Steven Gardiner has won gold in the men's 400m and Matt Walls has won gold in the omnium Track Cycling.

In the Sprint Canoe, Liam Heath has won K1 200m bronze.

In Hockey, Belgium beat Australia 3-2 in shootout to win men's gold.

The USA have beaten Australia 97-78 to reach their fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal basketball game. They will play France or Slovenia in the final.

The USA defeated Australia to win bronze in the women's football.

Cricket...... England's Jofra Archer is out of this winter's T20 World Cup and the Ashes in Australia because of  a stress facture in his right elbow. The injury is due to be reviewed in the autumn but he isn't expected to play again this year.

Motorsports... Nine-time world MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi has announced that he will retire at the end of the  season. The 42 year old, whose career has spanned 25 years, called it "a very sad moment".


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