Evening Update Thursday 6 January 2022

Travellers arriving in France from South Africa will no longer have to isolate for ten days, providing they are fully vaccinated. The change is a result of the government moving South Africa from the "scarlet red" to the "red" classification. However, those whose vaccination schedule is not complete will still have to undergo ten days mandatory quarantine.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said that a fourth vaccine dose will be offered in France as soon as the health authorities give their approval. Speaking to French media this morning he also said that the government aims to provide surgical masks, at a minimum, for all teachers by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the Cannes town hall has announced this evening that it will equip all teachers of its municipal schools with FFP2 masks with immediate effect. Until now, the masks provided to teachers by the Ministry of National Education were simple cloth masks.

The SNCF have said that due to COVID-19 constraints, the circulation of TER\ZOU trains is disrupted until February 20 on weekdays and weekends. It reminded travellers that in accordance with French government measures, the wearing of masks is mandatory at stations and on board trains for all passengers from 6 years old. It can only be removed briefly to drink or eat. Details of the next day's schedules are available after 5pm daily on the the"SNCF Assistant" App and on the TER SUD Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur website as well as at local train stations.

The French government has adopted a decree to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new heating equipment. From July 1, new equipment installed for heating or domestic hot water production in residential or professional buildings  will have to comply with a specific greenhouse gas emission cap.

Fourteen people were arested in an anti-drugs operation by National Police forces in Nice yesterday. Mayor Christian Estrosi said that 21.5 kg of resin and cannabis herb, almost 100,000 euros in cash and weapons were seized in the operation in the Pasteur quarter.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has forecast that the country's economy will grow by 4% in 2022. He said that the rapid spread of the Omicron variant will have an impact on the economy in the first quarter of the year, in particular because of the risks of disorganization of economic activity and the uncertainty weighing on global growth. However, he added that "the structural capacities of the French economy will allow a strong recovery in economic activities".

 

BUSINESS

Clothing retailer Next has said that sales for the three months to 25 December were up 20% compared with pre-pandemic 2019. It said that sales in the final quarter of 2021 had been boosted by a strong revival in "formal and occasionwear". The company's online business saw sales rise by 45% from two years ago, but sales at its high street stores were down by 5.4%.

1.65 million new cars entered the UK market in 2021, according to new figures from industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Registrations in the year grew by just 1% on 2020, a year during which sales were badly affected by the pandemic. The organization said that the figures underline the ongoing impact of Covid and the semiconductor shortage on the industry, with the market down 28.7% on pre-pandemic 2019, representing the second worst year since 1992. However, 2021 was the most successful year yet for electric vehicle uptake as more new battery electric vehicles were registered than over the previous five years combined.

Food retailer Greggs has appointed a new CEO. Roisin Currie will take over from Roger Whiteside who has been CEO since 2013 and is now approaching retirement age. Currie is currently Greggs Retail and Property Director and will take over as CEO in May.


SPORT

Cricket...Australia have declared on 416-8 on the second day of the fourth test against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Usman Khawaja scored a century. At the end of the day, England were on 13 for no loss.

Football...  Arsenal have been fined £20,000 after accepting a Football Association charge for failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion in their match against Manchester City on Saturday. City won the match 2-1.

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