Evening Update Tuesday 19 May 2020

The Automobile Club de Monaco has announced that three Grand Prix will be taking place in the Principality next year. Normally, the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place near the end of May each year, with the Monaco Historic Grand Prix and the Monaco E-Prix taking place earlier in the month on alternate years. The Historic Grand Prix and the Formula 1 race were due to take place this month but have both been cancelled because of the virus outbreak. The ACM has announced that the next Monaco Historic Grand Prix will now take place from April 23 to 25 next year, with the E-Prix on May 8 and the Formula 1 Grand Prix on May 20-23.

A nursery and two schools have been temporarily closed in Tende after four staff at the nursery tested positive for Covid-19. Meanwhile, a nursery school in La Seyne in the Var has been closed as a precautionary measure. A local official had tested positive for Covid-19 but had not been in contact with any children at the school.

Speaking to the National Assembly this afternoon, French Minister of Health, Olivier Veran, has said that only 2% of people currently tested for Covid-19 by nose swab test have tested positive. He said that this contrasts with a figure of over 20% at the height of the pandemic.

A date has been set for the French National Assembly to debate the use of the StopCovid contact tracing app. According to reports, the assembly will debate and vote on the use of the app on 27 May. If approved, it's expected that its use will be on a voluntary basis.

Toulon-Hyères airport has announced the resumption of certain flights. One return Air France flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle will be made from 2 June, increasing to two flights per day from 15 June.

466 passengers arrived by ship today in Marseille as part of a repatriation operation from Tunisia. On arrival the passangers were subject to a health check as well as a customs and identity checks.

The local Red Cross in Antibes-Vallauris is offering Covid-19 testing to homeless people on a voluntary baisis as from next week. Results should be available within 24 hours and support will be offered to those who need it.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has said that construction of the "Iconic" project in the centre of Nice is running six months behind schedule. When completed, the Iconic will link the tramway to the main railway station and will also contain a hotel, auditorium, shops, offices, restaurants and a sports hall. During a visit to the site today, the Mayor said that construction work with safety protocols had restarted on May 11 and the project should be open to the public in the second half of next year.

A French consumer rights organization has started legal action against twenty airlines regarding their alleged failure to refund customers for cancelled flights. UFC-Que Choisir says that the airlines are not respecting legislation which says that consumers have the right to a refund for cancelled flights and are not required to accept a credit note in place of a refund. The association says that it isn't seeking damages and is merely attempting to compel the airlines to follow the law.

Ministers of Tourism from EU states are holding a video conference meeting this evening to discuss the possibility of summer holiday travel between member states. The French secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, will take part in the meeting. The Minister said earlier today that decsions on international travel would be made around 15 June.

In other news, EasyJet has said that a cyber-attack has affected nine million customers. It said email addresses and travel details had been stolen and that 2,208 customers also had their credit card details "accessed". In a statement EasyJet said that there is no evidence that any personal information has been misused. However, the airline said it is communicating with those customers whose travel details were accessed "to advise them of protective steps to minimise any risk of potential phishing." It said it had already contacted those passangers whose credit card details had been stolen and would be contacting other affected passangers within the next few days.

Meteo France have a Yellow Weather warning in operation for storms in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes until 8pm this evening.



The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the UK has risen sharply, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics. 856,500 people claimed the benefit in April bringing the total to 2.1 million. The ONS also said that the number of job vacancies fell by nearly a quarter to 637,000 in the three months to April.

The UK Treasury and the Bank of England have announced that from 4 June they will publish a weekly list of businesses which have accessed the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and how much they have borrowed. The Bank said that large companies who require loans from the facility beyond 19 May 2021 will be expected to show "restraint on the payment of dividends and other capital distributions and on senior pay".

The UK government has set out a list of tariffs which would apply to imports in the event of the failure to agree a trade deal with the EU. The proposed rules include a 10% tariff on imported cars and tariffs on various agricultural products. However, the new rules would mean that 60% of UK imports would be tariff free.

Korean Air has said that it plans to fly on 32 out of its 110 international routes in June. Fellow South Korean carrier Asiana Airlines has also announced that it will restart operations on some routes and aims to be flying on 27 of its 73 international routes in June.



Motorsports... A Formula 1 spokesperson has said that the UK government's planned 14-day quarantine period for overeseas arrivals would make it impossible to have a British Grand Prix this year. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport said no decisions on exemptions from the quarantine requirements had yet been reached.

Rugby League.. The Rugby Football League has said that the Challenge Cup Final won't be taking place at Wembley on 18 July. Reports say that conversations have taken place between the RFL and Wembley about a new date for the final but the RFL is also open to using other venues. An RFL spokesperson said that the intention remains for the finals to be played later in the year, contingent on the public health situation and government advice. Tickets will be valid for any rearranged date.

Football.... Watford captain Troy Deeney has said that he won't return to training in order to protect his family's health. Premier League teams are returning to training as from today, with Watford due to resume training later this week. Club manager Nigel Pearson has previously said he wouldn't insist on players reporting for training.


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