Evening Update Tuesday 21 December 2021

The Covid-19 incidence rate in the Alpes-Maritimes has risen to 920.42 per 100,000 people. According to the French government's Covid-19 Dashboard, that represents an increase of 27.63% in the last seven days. The department is third in the level of incidence rates in France, after the Drome and Ardeche departments and well above the national average of 537.

The Monaco government has said that the incidence rate over the period of seven days before last Sunday was 813.56 compared to 544.98 the previous week. It also said that 9,046 PCR and antigen tests were carried out from the 13th to the 19th of December inclusive, with a positivity rate of 5.17%.

The French government is set to hold an exceptional Council of Ministers meeting next Monday, 27 December. Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said that the meeting will discuss the implementation of the vaccination pass.  He said that the hope is parliament would be able to examine draft legislation in the week between Christmas and the New Year with legislation being in place from "the first half of January". The vaccination pass was announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex last week. Under the plan, testing would no longer be a route to obtaining a pass to allow admission to establishments such as restaurants and museums.

Gabriel Attal added that in Paris the Omicron variant now accounts for more than one in three Covid-19 infections.

The prefectural decree regarding the obligation to wear a mask in the Alpes-Maritimes has been renewed until the 5 January. The obligation of wearing a mask for everyone eleven years and over in all the municipalities of the department applies in many public spaces including shopping malls and similar large and medium-sized spaces, as well as their parking areas and the areas of market towns and city centres characterized by a high concentration of the public. The wearing of a mask is compulsory indoors in all establishments open to the public. When physical distancing of at least two metres between people is possible, the wearing of a mask is not compulsory in natural spaces, urban green spaces, and the coast, including beaches and the edges of bodies of water. Full details of the measures are available on the Prefecture's website www.alpes-maritimes.gouv.fr

After visiting the testing and vaccination centre at the Rainier III Auditorium, Monaco's Minister of State H.E. Monsieur Pierre Dartout provided figures on the fight against Covid-19 in the Principality. Since 1 st January 2021, 101,000 PCR tests were performed. 3,348 analyzes were positive. 28,875 people received their 1st dose 25,667 received their 2nd dose and 10,598 an extra dose.

The Cannes Municipal Council has voted to extend the Mûriers gymnasium in La Bocca. Built in 1975, it currently has a 1,314 m² sports area and a 280-seat grandstand. Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard said that the structure will offer optimal conditions for hosting the national competitions of AS Cannes Mandelieu Handball, as well as the training sessions and matches of all the clubs and associations in Cannes. Work will start next May and is expected to be complete by June 2023.


BUSINESS

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced measures to help England's hospitality sector in the face of rapidly rising Covid-19 cases. This afternoon he announced a £1bn fund including cash grants of up to £6,000 per premises for each eligible firm. He said the government would also help certain businesses with the cost of sick pay for Covid-related absences and also announced an extra £30m to help theatres and museums.

The UK government is estimated to have borrowed £17.4 billion in November according to the Office for National Statistics. It was the second-highest November borrowing since monthly records began in 1993, the highest being in November 2020. Th ONS said that the extra funding required by government coronavirus support schemes, combined with reduced cash receipts and a fall in GDP, have all helped to push public sector net debt as a ratio of GDP to levels last seen in the early 1960s.

Consumer confidence in Germany appears to have been hit by the spread of the Omicron variant. The widely watched gfk consumer confidence index, which aims to predict consumer sentiment in the future, showed an expected fall to minus 6.8 for January, down from minus 1.8 for December.

 

SPORT

Cricket... Uncapped fast bowler Scott Boland has been added to Australia's squad for the third Ashes Test. Australia are 2-0 up in the five-Test series with the third Test getting underway in Melbourne on December 26.

Football.. The president of the Confederation of African Football has confirmed that the delayed Africa Cup of Nations will go ahead as planned despite coronavirus concerns. Patrice Motsepe said that the tournament will start in Cameroon on 9 January, as planned.

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