Evening Update Tuesday 12 January 2021

The French government has announced that the number of coronavirus vaccinations carried out will be published every day. Speaking before a committee of the National Assembly this afternoon, Health Minister Olivier Veran said that the figures should be published every day by 7.30pm at the latest. He said that the figures released would include the number of vaccinations per region, the percentage of the population vaccinated and the number of vaccine doses available in each region of the country. The announcement comes after the recent controversy regarding the pace of the coronavirus vaccination roll out in France. Government minister Brigitte Bourgignon said today that it's hoped 400,000 people will have been vaccinated by the end of this week.

The French Ministry of Health said that vaccination appointments for those aged 75 and over outside nursing homes can be made from this Thursday either by phone or through the website sante.fr, with the first vaccinations of that age group being carried out from next Monday, 18 January.

However, locally, the municipality of Antibes Juan-les-Pins has announced that covid-19 vaccinations are due to begin this Friday, January 15, starting with people over 75 years old. The decision to start this Friday follows a consultation with the Regional Health Agency, the Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes and the Antibes Hospital Center. The aim is to vaccinate the entire local population over 75 years of age who wish to be vaccinated, as well as patients suffering from co-morbidities, before the end of February. It's been possible to make an appointment from this afternoon. There are several ways to do this - online at the website  https://www.antibes-juanlespins.com/ , by calling 04 92 91 35 79 or by visiting the vaccination center at 288 Chemin de Saint-Claude in Antibes. The vaccination center, located at the Maison des Associations, will work alongside the Antibes hospital center. The hospital will welcome those over 75 as soon as it has completed the vaccination of health workers. Residents of Antibes Juan-les-Pins, Vallauris Golfe-Juan and Villeneuve-Loubet may be treated by the Antibes vaccination center. The town hall added that the establishment of a vaccination center in Vallauris is under study and should open at the end of January. A third center will be opened in Valbonne to accommodate the inhabitants of the middle country of the Sophia Antipolis Agglomeration. Finally, the population in the north of the Sophia Antipolis Agglomeration will be taken care of by the Departmental Council.

Olivier Veran said today that only one "adverse reaction of an allergic nature" has been reported out of 138,000 vaccinations with the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine carried out in France. He said that this number corresponds to that observed in other countries and that the outcome of the one case of allergic reaction was "favourable".

The Regional Health Agency has issued an update on the cluster of the British variant of Covid-19 detected in Marseille. The Agency said that as of yesterday, 6 people had been identified as positive for the British variant in Marseille but the cluster is "under control". All positive people and their contacts are currently isolated at their homes. A spokesperson said that the outbreak will be considered closed when the last of the people placed in isolation tests negative for the virus.

In other news, part of the coast road between Antibes and Villeneuve Loubet is closed all this week. The RD6098 is closed for construction work between Fort Carre and Marina Baie des Anges until 5pm this Friday.

Meteo France have said that the risk of accidental avalanches will be high on Wednesday in the Northern Alps. It said that new snowfall which begins today will be quite significant in the Northern Alps, from low altitudes. New layers of snow will form and can be triggered very easily when a skier or hiker passes by. Meteo France said that the greatest caution is therefore recommended and the avalanche risk forecast bulletins should be consulted on the Météo-France website or on mobile apps. It added that the risk of avalanches will increase even further on Thursday with continued snowfall.

 

BUSINESS

The Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey has said that the UK economy is "in a very difficult period at the moment". However, speaking to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce this morning, he said that the Bank thought that the UK's unemployment rate would peak at about 6.5%, which is less than it's previous forecast of 7 - 8%.

New figures released by the British Retail Consortium show that UK retailers suffered their worst annual sales performance on record in 2020. Overall sales fell by 0.3%, the worst performance since comparable records began in 1995. The data shows the uneven impact of the pandemic on retailers, with some retail sectors performing well during the year but others falling sharply. Non-food sales fell about 5% while food sales  rose 5.4% compared to 2019.

Royal Dutch Shell has announced plans to cut 330 jobs. The company said most of the posts which will be lost are based at its office in Aberdeen. Last September the company announced that up to 9,000 jobs would go worldwide

The Chinese CSI 300 stock index has closed at its highest level since 2008. The market was up 2.85% on Tuesday despite the Chinese government imposing a new coronavirus lockdown in some areas near Beijing.

 

SPORT

Motorsports... The Formula 1 calendar for the forthcoming season has been changed because of coronavirus restrictions. The Australian and Chinese Grands Prix have been postponed because of travel restrictions. The season is now scheduled to begin with the race in Bahrain on 26-28 March. A race at Imola has been added to the calendar, taking place from 16-18 April. The Australian Grand Prix has been rescheduled to 19-21 November. The overall number of races in the season remains unchanged.

Football... There are three games in the English Premier League tonight. Manchester United can go top of the table if they win at Burnley while Sheffield United play Newcastle and Wolves host Everton.

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