Evening Update Thursday 7 October 2021

French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal has said that changes to the health pass requirement will not be made before 15 November. Speaking after the Council of Ministers and Health Defence Council meetings this morning he said that the time to lift measures and constraints has not yet arrived and in about thirty departments the epidemic is no longer receding, noting in particular the Aude and Pays de la Loire. He said that when the time comes for changes in the health pass, changes would not be made on a local or regional basis but would be made nationally by sectors of the economy. He added that we are entering winter, "a period traditionally more conducive to the circulation of the epidemic".

Gabrial Attal also confirmed the announcement made by Health Minister Olivier Veran this morning that various caregivers will be eligible, on a non-mandatory basis, to receive a booster dose of a vaccine. The move follows the recommendation of the High Authority of Health yesterday.

The civil security exercise in Cannes concluded this morning and the area around the Quai Laubeuf and the nearby car park has now returned to normal.

The French national police are appealing for information about two young people who have disappeared from Hyeres in the Var. Police said that Lana Carron and Edouard Lapey, who are both 14 years old, are likely to be together and to have taken a bus to Spain. If you have any information you're asked to call 04 94 00 73 71 or 04 94 00 73 30.

The French National Assembly has launched an online consultation process to find out more about why there has been a falling participation rate in elections. The questionnaire consisting of 25 questions takes about ten minutes to complete. The excercise finishes at the end of October, after which the results will be made public and will be taken into account in determining the proposals made by the assembly's fact finding mission.

France is sending its ambassador back to Australia to "redefine" relations, after the diplomatic row over the cancellation of a submarine contact. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said  President Macron has refused to take his calls. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that France would "start afresh" with Australian relations and the ambassador to Australia would also "defend our interests" over the submarine contract.


The UK Competition and Markets Authority has announced that it is closing an investigation into the refunds policy of Ryanair and British Airways during the pandemic. The CMA has concluded that a lack of clarity in the law makes it "insufficiently certain" that it would be able to secure refunds for customers of the two airlines who were prevented from flying by Covid travel restrictions. In June the CMA launched a probe into the airlines over concerns they may have broken the law by failing to offer refunds for flights customers could not legally take during periods of lockdown. Instead, British Airways offered customers vouchers or rebooking and Ryanair provided the option to rebook. After a thorough examination of relevant law, and the evidence it had gathered during its investigation, the CMA said it has concluded that the law does not provide passengers with a sufficiently clear right to a refund in what it called "these unusual circumstances" to justify continuing with the case.

The UK Office for National Statistics said that 12% of businesses reported having vacancies that were more difficult to fill in the last month whilst 67% reported they had no vacancies to fill. The proportion of businesses’ workforce reported to be on full or partial furlough fell to 5% in early September, representing about 1.1 to 1.6 million people.


Motorsports... Red Bull and Honda have confirmed that they will continue working together after Honda's withdrawal from Formula 1. Red Bull said that the agreement will see the Red Bull group of companies and Honda work together on a variety of motorsports activities, including the transition of power unit development from Honda to Red Bull Powertrains.

Cricket.. Ben Stokes has undergone a second operation on his injured finger. The ECB said that he will have intense rehabilitation over the next four weeks. No timescale has been given for his return from the injury or from his break for mental health reasons and his possible participation in the Ashes this winter is uncertain.


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