Evening Update Tuesday 7 April 2020

The French Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, has estimated that the immediate impact of the coronavirus on the tourism sector in the south of France amounts to 4 to 5 billion euros. He said that normally, tourism in our region accounts for 20 billion euros per year, a quarter of which has gone "almost to zero". Renaud Muselier, the President of the South region, has said that 92% of the regional economy is "strongly, or very strongly impacted". He said that tourism is "99% is flat" and hotel occupancy rates have fallen below 1%.

The Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Regional Health Authority has this afternoon released new figures regarding those affected by the coronavirus. So far during the pandemic a total of 8,944 have tested positive for the virus. 1,764 people have been hospitalised and 251 people have lost their lives.

Tighter confinement restrictions have been put in place in  Bormes-les-Mimosas in the Var. The mayor, François Arizzi, announced a decree which as from today prohibits physical activity and the walking of pets beyond 500 meters from a person's main home. In addition, access to various local recreation areas, including the coastal path and the Gouron pine forest, is prohibited until further notice.

Coronavirus test results have become known for the residents of the Ehpad La Riviera retirement home in Mougins. 75 residents were tested yesterday, of whom 33 have reportedly tested positive for the virus. Another 19 residents will be tested again because their results were deemed to be "inconclusive". 31 residents have recently died at the retirement home.

Over 200,000 people have responded to a call by the French government to take up jobs in the food and logistics sectors in order to help ensure food supplies. The agricultural sector is currently suffering from a lack of seasonal workers because of the coronavirus crisis. Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume said that 5,000 recruitment staff were engaged in matching the open jobs with candidates.

A teenager has died at the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat marina. It appears that the 16 year old was out jogging yesterday evening and was found unconscious at the marina suffering from cardiac arrest. Despite the intervention of medical personnel, his life couldn't be saved.

Five people were taken into in police custody last night for an attempted break in on the port of Nice, despite the curfew being in force. Of the five, one was a minor and was released from custody and another was released on judicial supervision. A trial has been scheduled for May.

Police have asked for information regarding the disappearence of a woman in Gattières. 58 year old Patricia Gilabert was last seen in the town on Friday morning. She was driving a white Fiat 500 Abarth, registration number AM 817 WL. If you have any information, you are asked to call



US oil company Exxon Mobil has announced that it's reducing capital expenditure by 10 billion dollars this year in the wake of recent low oil prices. It had been planning to spend 33 billion dollars, but will now reduce that figure to 23 billion.

Volkswagen is planning to reopen one of its plants. The company closed all its European manufacturing plants in mid-March because of the virus outbreak. The plant, which is in Spain and makes the Polo model, is planning to resume production shortly with workers wearing protective equipment.

The Wellcome medical research charity has launched an initiative to help raise at least $8 billion by the end of April to cover a global funding shortfall for vaccines, treatments and testing for coronavirus. It says that the funds would provide the resources needed both to develop drugs and vaccines and to start to scale-up production across the world. The initiative is aimed at the private sector and is asking CEOs of multinational companies to join the coalition to provide funds.

Cinema operator Cineworld has announced the closure of all its cinemas because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The company said that every effort is being made to mitigate the effect of the closures, to assist its employees and to preserve cash. It said that it's in discussions with its landlords, the film studios and major suppliers and is "curtailing all currently unnecessary capital expenditure".



Motorsports.... Formula 1 has put about half of its staff on enforced leave while senior figures are to take a salary cut as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The F1 leadership group have all agreed to take at least a 20% pay cut. The rest of the staff will be using the UK government's job retention scheme that pays 80% of wages up £2,500 a month.

The Mercedes Formula 1 team has made the design of a new breathing aid freely available to help fight the coronavirus crisis. The device, which was designed in conjunction with University College London, helps patients with lung infections breathe more easily. The team said that the device is being produced "at a rate of up to 1,000 a day" at their engine design base in Brixworth, Northamptonshire.

Moto GP... The Italian Grand Prix, scheduled for 31 May, has been called off, along with the Catalunya race which was to take place on 7 June. Eight races in this season's Moto GP calendar have now been postponed or re-arranged.

Cricket... Lancashire Cricket Club say they will offer up to 5,000 tickets to NHS staff for a match at at Old Trafford this season. Workers will have the chance to attend a game with their families with dates to be confirmed once the cricket schedule has been finalised. Club chairman David Hodgkiss died last week after contracting coronavirus.

Table Tennis.. The International Table Tennis Federation has announced new provisional dates for the World Championships, which were originally due to take place in South Korea in March. The tournament, which has already been postponed once because of the virus outbreak, is now scheduled for the 27 September to 4 October.

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