Evening Update Thursday 5 November 2020

The director-general of the Regional Health Agency for the Ile-de-France area has said that people must "massively reduce" their social interactions. Speaking on French television this morning, Aurelien Rousseau  said that people seem to be "less afraid" of the coronavirus than during the first wave. His comments come as new measures have been introduced in Paris to regulate night-time activities. A new prefectoral decree regulates certain deliveries and take-away sales after 10pm. The prefecture said that checks will be made on establishments and delivery drivers to ensure compliance. The aim is to stop groups of people gathering on public highways. The new measures in Paris will be in effect from 10pm to 6am as from this Friday.

A French teaching union has proposed strike action next Tuesday, November 10. The SNES-FSU union, which is one of a number of teaching unions, is calling for reinforced coronavirus measures in schools. Meanwhile, students at several schools have once again been staging protests at what they say are inadequate health protocols. Students at several schools in Nantes and Saint-Nazaire gathered this morning to protest at the lack of social distancing, especially in school cafeterias.

President Macron has announced a doubling of the number of border control and customs personnel to control illegal immigration and terrorism. The president was speaking during a visit to the border with Spain in the Pyrenees-Orientales department earlier today. He also said that he planned to put a proposal before the Europen Council to bring about an overhaul of the Schengen area.

Searches are continuing to try to locate the body of the pilot who was on board a light plane which went missing on the Riviera earlier this week. The plane lost contact with the control tower at Cannes Mandelieu airport at about 8pm on Monday evening. Searches began immediately afterwards but so far only a small amount of debris from the plane has been found. Reports say that a remote controlled submarine has now been deployed to search the area where the plane is believed to have crashed.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has said that he believes 5G services will be operational in Nice from the first half of 2021. Speaking at a conference on the economy this morning he said that the city has consulted experts on the risks of 5G and none of them have concluded that there is any danger.

Reconstruction work continues to repair the damage caused by Storm Alex. A double width road running through Bancairon is being constructed to restore the original road running through the Tinée valley as quickly as possible. The prefectoral delgate in charge of reconstruction of the valleys, Xavier Pelletier, met with local representatives of the Departmental Directorate of Territories and the Sea this morning to discuss the continuation of work to re-establish traffic axes in the valleys.

The municipality of Menton is entering a tree in the Tree of The Year competition. It's calling on locals to vote for a 100 year old tree which grows in the Elisée Reclus garden in Menton. The tree is 15 meters high and 9.2 metres in circumference. You can vote at https://www.arbredelannee.com/ until 5 January.



The Bank of England has announced plans to inject an extra £150bn into the UK economy by buying government bonds. It kept interest rates unchanged at 0.1%. The Bank said it expects the UK economy to contract by 2% in the final quarter of this year and doesn't expect it to get back to its pre-crisis size until 2022.

Sainsburys has reported a half-year loss of £137m. It also announced plans to cut 3,500 jobs and close 420 stand alone Argos stores. However, it said that 150 Argos stores would be opened inside Sainsbury's supermarkets and a further 150-200 collection points would be created.

In new figures published today, the European Commission says it expects the French economy to contract by 9.4% this year. It expects the euro-area economy to contract by 7.8% and expects growth of 4.2% for the bloc next year, which is significantly less than the 6.1% it forecast previously. The Commission said that it expects public debt in the eurozone to reach 101.7% of GDP in 2020.

Indonesia has fallen into recession for the first time since the Asian Financial crisis in 1988. South East Asia's biggest economy contracted by 3.49% in the third quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2019. It follows a contraction of 5.32% in the second quarter. Indonesia's economy relies heavily on tourism which has been seriously impacted by the pandemic.



Cycling... Ineos Grenadiers rider Ian Stannard is retiring because of rheumatoid arthritis. He won seven races including two stages of the Tour of Britain as well as achieving third place in the Paris-Roubaix race in 2016.

Rugby Union... James Lowe has been included in the Ireland squad for the Autumn Nations Cup. He currently plays for Leinster at club level. Keith Earls, Shane Daly and  Billy Burns are also in the squad. Meanwhile, Sean Maitland is returning to the Scotland squad for the Autumn Nations Cup. Scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne is also included.

Football.... The England squad has been announced for this month's matches against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland. Phil Foden is back in the squad. Reece James is also included as is Raheem Sterling. However, James will only be available for the Republic of Ireland match before serving a two-game suspension. Danny Ings and midfielder Kalvin Phillips miss out because of injuries. Mason Greenwood and Harvey Barnes are aslo not included.

Gareth Bale has been named in the Wales squad for the three games later this month. Bale had suffered an injury in the match against Bulgaria in September but is now fit again. Aaron Ramsey is also included in the squad.

There are more Europa League games tonight with Spurs away at Ludogorets Razgrad in Group J. Arsenal are at home to Molde in Group B. Leicester host Sporting Braga in Group G. Nice visit Slavia Prague in Group C. Rangers are away at Benfica in Group D and Celtic host Sparta Prague in Group H.

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