Evening Update Tuesday 22 September 2020

The Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes, Bernard Gonzalez has announced that new measures aimed at controlling the coronavirus will be applied throughout the department. Speaking on France Bleu this morning, the Prefect said that the measures which were introduced in Nice at the end of last week will come into force throughout the Alpes Maritimes. That means that events will be limited to 1,000 people, gatherings of more than ten people in parks, gardens and beaches will be prohibited and all bars must close by 12.30am.

The Prefect of the Gard department also announced new restrictions this morning. As from midnight on Wednesday face masks will be compulsory in Nimes, Ales and Bagnols-sur-Caze from 6am to midnight. Other measures are being introduced for the entire department including bars and restaurants having to close by midnight and a prohibition on the serving of dishes intended for sharing in restaurants.

The Italian government has announced that certain visitors from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region will have to produce a negative coronavirus test before being allowed to enter the country. Italian Health Minster Roberto Speranza said that a negative molecular or antigen test carried out in the previous 72 hours will be required. However, exceptions are reportedly made for those visiting Italy for a stay of less than 72 hours. The ordinance takes effect from the day following the publication in the Italian Official Gazette but no later than 7 October. The other areas of France covered by the ordanance are Auvergne-Rhône-Alps, Corsica, Hauts-de-France, Île-de-France, New Aquitaine and Occitania.

A new COVID-19 screening center has opened at the Espaces du Fort Carré in Antibes. Test are by appointment and priority is given to symptomatic people or "contacts" and to health professionals. Appointments can be made at https://rdv-testcovid.fr

Meteo France have a yellow warning in force for rain and flooding in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var until 10pm this evening and also for storms until 10 pm in the Alpes Maritimes and until 3am in the Var.

Several beaches in Antibes Juan-les-Pins have been temporarily closed to swimmers. The municipality said this evening that the bad weather has led to the overload of a number of sanitation networks causing the degradation of the bathing water. As a result, swimming is prohibited from today until this Thursday, September 24, at 9:00am. Checks will be carried out regularly in the coming hours and swimming will be authorized as soon as the results comply with the standards in force. The affected beaches include the Promenade du Soleil, Les Ondes, the Cap d’Antibes, Fort Carré and La Fontonne east and west. You can find the full list at http://www.antibes-juanlespins.com/toute-l-actu/interdiction-de-baignade

Traffic on the A8 motorway was disrupted this morning after a vehicle caught fire. A team from Vinci Autoroutes intervened at about 9.00 this morning and Junction 41 of the motorway at Mandelieu Est was closed. Traffic has now returned to normal.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has been in the Yvelines department today to attended the General Assembly of France Audacieuse. The organization is  a movement which aims to give a voice to local mayors and elected representatives across France. Today's meeting took place with health protocols in place for those elected officials who were present, with the public able to participate online.

The Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, has said that the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has been shut down over the summer after the serious coronavirus outbreak on board earlier in the year. The French Navy ship is based in Toulon. Speaking to the French Senate this evening she said that such older generation ships are not designed to contain the epidemic risk and the layout had been changed on board the Charles de Gaulle during the recent shutdown to better deal with the coronavirus risk.

The body of a man has been found in the Gard department after severe storms and floods affected the region over the weekend. The body is believed to be that of a local municipal employee who had been missing since Saturday. A search is continuing for a second person who was reported missing at the weekend.

The SNCF has confirmed that it's starting several train services in Spain next year. After being delayed by the coronavirus crisis, the first line will start operations on March 15, with several other lines coming into service later in the year.

French consumer rights group UFC-Que Choisir has said that it's filing a complaint with the Public Prosecutor against Nintendo alleging planned obsolescence of Switch console controllers. The organization claims that it has received 5,000 complaints about the devices and has carried out laboratory tests.



Whitbread, the UK's largest operator of hotels and restaurants, has announced the loss of up to 6,000 jobs. The company said hotel stays in August had halved and diner numbers fell by more than a third. It added that it expects demand to remain lower well into 2021 and possibly 2022. Whitbread is the owner of hotel chain Premier Inn as well as restaurant  brands including Beefeater and Brewers Fayre.

In the UK, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has said that people in England should work from home "if they can" because of the increasing rates of coronavirus. The move is an about turn from UK government advice in recent weeks that employees should return to work.

Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, has said that labour demand in the UK is still weak and unemployment is higher than the currently published numbers. Bailey said that the recent increase in coronavirus numbers in the UK is "very unfortunate" and that it's what he called a "very fast evolving world".



UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that plans for spectators to watch live sport events in England from 1 October will now not go ahead because of coronavirus concerns. Several pilot programmes have taken place with a limited number of spectators at events covering several sports including football and cricket but the programme was put under review earlier this month.

Football... The Football Association has charged West Brom manager Slaven Bilic with "improper conduct". The charge is in relation to the game against Everton last Saturday during which Bilic was sent off after an argument with the referee at half time. The FA said that it related to his "language and/or behaviour on the field of play". He has until Thursday to respond.

Arturo Vidal has joined Inter Milan from Barcelona. The Chilean player has reportedly signed a 1 million euro deal with the club.

Rugby League.. The RFL has confirmed that the Challenge Cup final will take place at Wembley on 17 October. RFL Chief executive Ralph Rimmer said that they wanted to have fans present but the decision "may be taken out of our hands".


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