Evening Update Tuesday 21 April 2020

A new study suggests that by May 11, about 5.7% of the French population will have had the coronavirus. The analysis by several French health organizations estimates that in the east of France and the Paris region, which have been the worst affected, about 12% of people will have contracted the virus by that date. The figure for the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region is estimated at 3.4%. One of the organizers of the study, the Institut Pasteur, said that with such comparatively low levels of infection, "major efforts will need to be maintained" after May 11 to avoid a resurgence of the virus.

The Palace in Monaco has said that the coronavirus pandemic will have a major impact on the state budget with an estimated deficit of nearly 500 million euros for the 2020 financial year. This amount corresponds to the exceptional support measures necessary for the Monegasque economy as well as the anticipated decline in state revenues. It said that the gravity of the situation necessitates increased rigorous financial management, particularly for the purpose of an overall reduction in State expenditure. In this context, H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince has decided to reduce the operating expenses of the Prince's Palace by an almost 40% reduction in his endowment, from 13.2 million euros to 8 million euros. The Palace added that Prince Albert has full confidence in the solidity of the economic and social model of the Principality of Monaco to overcome this health crisis which also has unprecedented economic consequences for Monaco.

French Education Minister Jean Michel Blanquer has this afternoon clarified his gradual plan for the reopening of schools from the 11th of May. He said that if a family does not want to send their child to school, this will be possible, but in that case they will have to follow distance learning. He added that a pupil will "never be outside of compulsory education".

Soldiers have been patrolling the streets of Grasse today to enforce confinement measures. The soldiers were there to reinforce the national and municipal police.  Earlier today, Alpes Maritimes deputy Eric Ciotti, asked the Prime Minister to send in the army to areas of France which are not respecting the confinement measures. The request comes after recent clashes beween residents and police in the Hauts-de-Seine department. In his letter to the Prime Minister M. Ciotti said that the health crisis was now accompanied by what he called an "extremely worrying security crisis".

An inmate at Grasse prison has said that he intends to file a complaint against the French state for endangering the lives of others during the coronavirus pandemic. The prisoner alleges that insufficient hygeine measures have been taken at the prison. His lawyer says that a letter has been sent to the p