Evening Update Tuesday 17 March 2020

The new coronavirus containment measures announced by President Macron have been published in the Official Journal and came into force throughout France at midday today. Mr Macron said that people need to stay at home for at least 15 days. He said that people should limit social contact as much as possible. Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner expanded on the President's message last night. He said that meals with family and friends and other "collective activities" are forbidden.  Trips to food stores in your locality, to pharmacies and trips for a "compelling" family reason or for medical care are permitted but you may be asked to justify your trip using a special government certificate. Anybody found outside may be required to present a completed certificate which is available for download from the Interior Ministry website www.interieur.gouv.fr. People without access to the internet can present a hand written version if they don’t have a printer. People who can work from home are strongly advised to do so but those whose job is impossible to do at distance should download the form and carry it with them at all times.  If you violate the new rules you risk a fine ranging from 38 to 135 euros. Fixed and mobile control points are being set up on main and secondary roads as from today.

100,000 police officers have been mobilised to enforce the restrictions. French mobile phones have been sent a text message by the government today outlining the new containment measures. Mr. Castaner said that France has put in place "the strictest containment measures in Europe". French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said today that he was ready to use "all means" including nationalization to protect French companies whose business had been affected by the outbreak.

His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco is scheduled to address the nation at about 8pm this evening.

Monaco City Council has extended its home meal delivery service to all residents over 70 and to frail people. The number to contact for this service is Monaco 93 15 22 99 from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. For non-food shopping, particularly for pharmaceutical products, a delivery service has also been established in Monaco. Contact 97 97 68 00 Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Monaco City Council has also decided to grant free surface parking throughout the Principality. The PayByPhone service is therefore suspended and parking meters are free.

According to reports, about 50 prisoners at Grasse prison have refused to return to their cells. Prison officers from Marseille have been brought in to bolster local forces dealing with the incident.

As far as travel information is concerned, a large number of travellers have been passing through Terminal 2 at Nice airport today following the closure of Terminal 1 last night in order to consolidate flights. There have been several cancellations on arrivals and departures at the airport today, but many of the flights which are running have been arriving and departing close to their scheduled times. The French transport Ministry has announced a further reduction in the frequency of trains. The transport minister said that services would be reduced to between 30 and 40 per cent of normal next week.



UK fashion retailer Laura Ashley has filed for administration. The company operates 150 stores in the UK and employs around 2,700 staff.

Fiat Chrysler has resumed limited production at one of its factories in Italy. The plant had been closed since last week as the company performed deep sanitisation and some reconfiguration of production lines to allow more space between workers.

Carphone Warehouse is to close all its 531 standalone UK stores on 3 April. The firm says the move is not related to the coronavirus outbreak, but was because of the changing mobile market.

Euro 2020 has been postponed by one year until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, that's according to reports citing multiple European football associations. Uefa has been holding an emergency video conference involving major stakeholders during the course of today. According to those associations, it was decided the tournament will now take place from 11 June to 11 July next year.

Manchester United have extended midfielder Nemanja Matic's contract by one year. his contract was due to expire this summer. He's made 109 appearances for United since joining from Chelsea in 2017.

All horse racing in the UK has been suspended from tomorrow until the end of April. Today's meetings at Wetherby and Taunton have been going ahead without spectators.


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