Evening Update Tuesday 3 November 2020

Searches are continuing to locate a private plane which lost contact with Cannes Mandelieu Airport last night. The Maritime Prefecture said that small amounts of debris have been found a few kilometres south-east of the airport. Searches involving several boats and helicopters resumed early this morning. It's believed that one person was on board the aircraft.

A new decree modifying the French government decree of October 29 organizing the confinement has been published in the Official Journal today. Amongst other measures, the decree introduces new rules regarding the number of customers allowed in hypermarkets and supermarkets.  Each customer must have a minimum surface area of ​​4 m² - for example a store of 400 square metres may have a maximum of 100 customers at any one time. Until now the rule only applied in shopping centers but has been extended to "supermarkets, multi-store stores, hypermarkets and other sales stores with a surface area of ​​over 400 m²". The decree of October 29 imposed the closure of libraries and media libraries but the new decree allows mayors to provide an exception for "the withdrawal and return of reserved documents ".

Teachers at some French schools are calling for industrial action to protest at difficulties in following health protocols and questioning whether current protocols are sufficient. Reports say that strike action has already been taken today at several schools in the Paris area. Meanwhile, students have staged demonstrations at several schools this morning to protest against what they say is a lack of appropriate health measures. Reports say that demonstrations were held this morning at several schools in the Ile-de-France and in towns including Saint-Nazaire and Nantes.

The French Prime Minister's Office has denied that a curfew is about to be introduced in Paris. Speaking on French television this morning, a government spokesperson said that a curfew was about to be imposed in the capital but the Prime Minister's Office said that it was "absolutely not decided at ths stage". The spokesperson also said that 100,000 checks on confinement had been carried out since Friday resulting in 14,000 fines being issued.

The SNCF has said that it will gradually reduce TGV, Inoui and Ouigo services by 70% starting from tomorrow. The number of Intercity trains will also be reduced, starting from Thursday.

Public parks, gardens and play areas in the City of Nice have re-opened this morning. Access will be privileged for seniors on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. However, Parc Phoenix will remain closed until further notice under national measures as the facility is considered an Establishment Receiving the Public.

The Association of Mayors of France has announced the cancellation of its 103rd congress due to confinement. Normally, the congress sees thousands of mayors from across France meet in Paris each year.

The man accused of carrying out the attack in Nice last Thursday has tested positive for Covid-19. As a result, test are also being carried out on security service personnel who attended the attack at the Notre Dame Basilica.

The Monaco government is holding a series of digital workshops for businesses in the Principality aimed at providing practical advice on digital technology. The next workshop is this Thursday 5 November. Businesses need to register by tomorrow, 4 November. You can get more details on the Monaco government Facebook page.



Stock markets in Asia and Europe rose earlier today as voters in the United States go to the polls in the presidential election. National polls show Democratic candidate Joe Biden with a broad lead, but the race is close in key battleground states needed to win the presidency. The first polling stations close at midnight tonight our time but will be open until 7am our time on Wednesday morning in Alaska.

Chinese regulators have suspended what would have been the world's biggest Initial Public Offering. In a statement, the Shanghai Stock Exchange said that the listing of Ant Group had been postponed because of issues including changes in "the financial technology regulatory environment".

The French Public Accounts Ministry has released its monthly update of government finances. The figures to the end of September reflect expenditure incurred by the government to respond to the health crisis with € 14.8 billion being spent under the exceptional partial activity scheme and € 6.2bn to finance the solidarity fund for businesses. The general budget revenue net of reimbursements and reductions amounted to € 185.3 billion compared to € 209.4 billion at the end of September 2019. Most of the decline in revenue came from reduced TVA income.

A survey in the UK suggests that about one third of employees are afraid of catching covid-19 at work. The results of the survey by the Resolution Foundation come despite the UK government having issued guidance to employers on how to make workplaces secure. The research found that the poorest paid workers are particularly concerned.