Evening Update Thursday 6 May 2021

President Macron has announced that people 50 years old or over will be able to make an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccination from tomorrow on the website sante.fr to be vaccinated from May 10.  Announcing the move today, President Macron said that no vaccination slot should be lost and that from May 12, appointments that have not been taken up 24 hours before will be open to all adults unconditionally. From next Wednesday it will be possible for all adults to make an appointment on the Doctolib.fr site for the next day if doses are available.

Meanwhile, the French government has announced that 16 and 17 years olds suffering from certain serious illnesses will be able to register for a Pfizer BioNTech vaccine as from today.

French Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot has announced that outdoor festivals will be allowed to take place from 1 July providing that attendees are standing and there is a limit of one person per four square metres. She said that a maximum limit of people attending such festivals will be established by prefects according to local circumstances.

President Macron said this afternoon that he is in favour of lifting intellectual property on vaccines. The remarks echo those made recently by US president Joe Biden.

A woman has been arrested in connection with the death of a police officer in Avignon yesterday evening. The officer was shot several times while carrying out identity checks of several people suspected of being involved in a drugs deal. Reports say that the woman arrested today is suspected of being the client of the drugs dealer who fired the shots and who is still at large. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin arrived in Avignon last night and is meeting police unions today.

A group of French fishing boats has left Jersey after staging a protest against new post-Brexit fishing licences issued by the island. An estimated fifty to seventy boats from nearby French ports staged a protest at St Helier's port this morning but left the area this afternoon after talking with representatives from the Jersey government. Reports quote a source at the Elysée as saying France was monitoring the situation "very closely", adding that it is "currently calm and we hope that this will remain the case".

An event dedicated to ecological vehicles and renewable energies has got underway in Monaco. Ever Monaco opened yesterday at the Espace Fontvieille and goes on until tomorrow. There's an exhibition of vehicles and round table discussions are taking place. Some 20 green vehicles from different manufacturers can be tested throughout the event. Entrance is free and you can get more details at ever-monaco.com

The Monaco government has launched a new all-in-one mobility app. The Monapass app features maps, subscriptions and means of payment for bus, electric bicycles and parking on public roads. Real-time traffic information and route suggestions are also included. The development of the app is part of Monaco's digital transition initiative.

 

BUSINESS

The Bank of England has left interest rates unchanged at  0.1%. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee also voted to leave its asset purchase programme unchanged. The Bank increased its forecast for UK GDP growth for this year to 7.25%, up from the 5% it forecast in February. It also forecast that inflation will rise temporarily above the Bank's 2% target towards the end of this year.

A survey of purchasing managers has suggested that the UK services sector enjoyed its sharpest rise in activity in April in over 7-years. IHS Markit, who carried out the survey, said that stronger demand conditions boosted output and stimulated further job creation but cost pressures intensified.

In a sign of continuing trade tensions between China and Australia, the Chinese government has said it is  "indefinitely" suspending key economic dialogue with Australia. In a statement, a Chinese government commission accused Australian officials of launching what it called "a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination". Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan called the decision"disappointing" but said that the Australian government was still open to discussions.

Almost all of the UK's biggest fifty employers have said they do not plan to bring staff back to the office full-time. In a survey by the BBC, some 43 of the firms said they would embrace a mix of home and office working, with staff encouraged to work from home two to three days a week. Four firms said they were keeping the idea of hybrid working under review.

 

SPORT

Tennis... World number one Ashleigh Barty is through to the final of the Madrid Open after beating Spanish player  Paula Badosa. The final score was 6-4 6-3.

Rugby Union... The 37-man British and Irish Lions squad has been named this afternoon. Alun Wyn Jones is confirmed as captain for his fourth Lions tour. Sam Simmonds, Courtney Lawes and Jonny Hill are in the team as are Scotland's Chris Harris and Ireland's Bundee Aki. However, Billy Vunipola and Johnny Sexton are left out.

Football...The Europa League semi-final second leg ties are being played tonight. Arsenal host Villarreal, trailing 2–1 from the first leg while Manchester United visit Roma taking a 6-2 lead into the game.

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