Evening Update Tuesday 17 November 2020

President Macron has said that the public will not be allowed into stadiums to watch sporting events during December because of the progression of the pandemic. However, speaking during a videoconference with representatives of sporting bodies today he said that he hoped sporting activities for young people in clubs could resume during December subject to reinforced protocols but this was dependent on the evolution of the pandemic. He also announced that a "sports pass" would be introduced next year to encourage young people to take part in sporting activities.

French Minister of Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, has asked the SNCF to run "one hundred per cent" of its trains from mid-December until 4 January. He said that all trains are open for reservation as from today.

The Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon is scheduled to hold a press conference at 7pm this evening to take stock of the health situation in France. Meanwhile, speaking on French television this morning, a government spokesperson said that a decision on the possible re-opening of shops will be taken next week.

Two ecolgical groups have called for the repeal of the limits on walks during confinement.  Europe Écologie Les Verts and Génération Écologie have filed an application with the Council of State along with several other groups in which they urge the government to repeal the “1h / 1km” limit and to adopt measures to ensure equal access for everyone to nature. The groups say that French people are expressing the need to access green and natural spaces in which physical distancing makes it possible to avoid any risk of contamination. They say that containment has negative effects on the health of French people such as deterioration of mental health, anxiety disorders and weight gain linked to inactivity.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi has said there will be no Christmas market in Nice this year. He said that Christmas decorations will be present everywhere in the city in support of local merchants. He added that he is in favour of shops opening on 27 November if permitted by the health situation.

The French government's website providing information about teleworking during COVID-19 has been updated today. The site aims to answer such questions as whether teleworking is compulsory and whether it's possible to  alternate teleworking and partial activity. The website can be found at
https://travail-emploi.gouv.fr/le-ministere-en-action/coronavirus-covid-19/questions-reponses-par-theme/article/teletravail-en-periode-de-covid-19

Christian Estrosi has said that the reopening of a resurfaced road to Bancairon is scheduled for December 1. The existing dirt track is being paved after damage caused by Storm Alex. The mayor expressed his thanks to workers involved in the construction and said that the scheduled reopening "bodes well for the opening of winter sports resorts". The remarks come after French Labour Minister Elisabeth Bourne encouraged ski resort operators to hire workers for the winter season.

Christian Estrosi has paid tribute to former Nice Mayor Jacques Medecin on the 22nd anniversary of his death. M. Estrosi said that through his building work the former mayor had given the city "a boost of modernity". Jacques Medecin served as mayor of Nice from 1966 to 1990 but was sentenced to jail for corruption in the early 90's.

Alpes Maritimes firefighters are warning people of the dangers of carbon monoxide which is a source of numerous poisonings and can be fatal. Firefighters say that gas appliances are the main sources of poisoning and it's therefore important that these devices be checked annually to make sure that they're working properly and to avoid any risk of poisoning for the occupants of dwellings.

 

BUSINESS

EasyJet has reported a loss of £1.27bn for the year to 30 September. It's the first annual loss in the airline's history. Revenues fell by more than half. The company said that due to the impact of COVID-19, passenger numbers for the financial year fell by 50%. It said it retains the flexibility to rapidly ramp up capacity when demand returns. The airline added that it is "ready for all possible Brexit outcomes".

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is selling its Honor phone brand. US government sanctions have restricted supplies to Huawei and the company said that Honor had been under "tremendous pressure" due to "a persistent unavailability of technical elements".

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has said the recent positive news about vacceine tests is "a big step forward" which "will play a major role in lowering the level of uncertainty". Speaking at a conference this morning he said that regulators and financial service firms must work together so businesses are able to get the finance they need to invest for the future.


SPORT


Cricket... Samit Patel has signed a new two-year contract with Nottinghamshire. He made his first team debut for the club back in 2002 and has made 588 appearances across all formats.

Athletics...Organisers of the Paris Marathon have announced a rescheduled date for next year's event. The race will now take place on October 17 2021. The half marathon is still scheduled for 5 Septmeber next year.

Rugby Union... Organizers of the Autumn Nations Cup have awarded France a 28-0 victory against Fiji. Last Sunday's Autumn Nations Cup match between the two teams had to be cancelled because of a Covid-19 outbreak among the Fiji squad. A statement from the organisers said that "if a team is primarily responsible for a match not taking place, a 28-0 victory will be awarded to the opposition".

Leicester Tigers are reopening their training ground today. It was closed on 5 November after several players and staff tested positive for Covid-19. The club are scheduled to play Gloucester in their first match of the season this coming weekend.

Exeter player Jacques Vermeulen has undergone shoulder surgery. The club's Director of Rugby Rob Baxter said that the forward will be out for "an extended period."

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