Evening Update Tuesday 30 March 2021

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has called for all the staff of schools to be vaccinated and for saliva tests to be given more widely. He said that the virus is affecting younger and younger people. The mayor added that he believes "everyone on the front line of running the economy", including teachers and cashiers should be protected. He also called for the immediate introduction of a health pass for those who have been vaccinated, who have had a PCR test of less than 72 hours, a serological test or immunity after infection and said that this would "free up a number of activities".

Meanwhile, two French unions are calling for passenger transport workers to receive priority vaccination, saying that workers on buses, taxis, lorries, ambulances, ships and planes are "indispensable".

Reports say that the Italian Ministry of Health has stated that a mandatory five-day quarantine for travellers from other European Union countries will be introduced from this Thursday, 1 April. Quarantine is already mandatory for people arriving in Italy from outside the EU. The quarantine requirement includes those people who test negative for Covid-19. A test is required before arrival and a further test is then required at the end of the five days in isolation.

A vaccination bus is operating three days a week as from today in the municipalities in the north of the Var. The service will operate for two months to expand the territorial coverage of vaccination. All the appointments are made by the municipalities for their residents over 75 years of age as a priority. Five temporary pop-up vaccination centres are also opening in the Var from today until this coming Sunday. You can get more details on the Var Prefecture's website  http://www.var.gouv.fr

Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin has said that since the start of this year 5.2 million checks have been carried out on compliance with curfew measures, resulting in 523,000 fines. This past weekend alone 100,000 checks were carried out resulting in 17,000 fines.

In other news, over 1,000 farmers have been demonstrating in the Landes department in south-west France. Rubble was dumped from a truck and smoke bombs were thrown in front of the Prefecture. They are protesting at a possible decrease in the amount of water they are authorized to use for irrigation.

 

BUSINESS

Economic sentiment and employment expectations improved sharply in both the EU and the euro area in March according to a survey by the European Commission. For the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19 on the continent, the Commission's Economic Sentiment Indicator is back at or slightly above its long-term average. Also the Employment Expectations Indicator saw a large increase in March, bringing the indicator in both regions close to its long-term average.

Meanwhile, new data shows that consumer confidence in France increased in March according to a survey from French government statistics body INSEE. Its monthly consumer confidence survey rose to 94 in March, up from 91 in February and 92 in January.

UK pubs owner JD Wetherspoon has announced plans to invest an initial £145 million in developing new pubs and upgrading existing pubs. It said that it has a pipeline of 75 projects - 18 of which are new pubs and 57 significant extensions and upgrades to its existing 871 pubs. Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said that the investment is conditional on what he referred to as  "the UK opening back up again on a long-term basis, with no further lockdowns or the constant changing of rules".

 

SPORT

Cricket... New Zealand have beaten Bangladesh by 28 runs in their Twenty20 match. New Zealand were 173 for 5, Bangladesh 142 for 7. Meanwhile New Zealand's womens team have beaten Australia by four wickets to level the three-match Twenty20 series at 1-1.

Football.... The Scottish Football Association has given a six game ban to five Rangers players who breached Covid-19 rules. The players attended a party which was broken up by police in February. A four-match ban will be served immediately with two suspended until the end of the season.

There are several more European World Cup qualifiers tonight with Wales at home to the Czech Republic, Belgium at home to Belarus and the Netherlands playing Gibraltar.

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