Evening Update Tuesday 8 February 2022

French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune has said that the government is planning to lift certain restrictions on vaccinated travellers arriving in France from outside the European Union. Speaking to French media today, he said that "in the coming days" the rules will be changed so that travellers arriving from countries outside the EU will no longer have to present a negative Covid-19 test, as long as they are vaccinated.

French Sports minister Roxana Maracineanu has tested postitive for Covid-19 and will not be able to travel to the Winter Olympics in Beijing as planned. She said that she has "a heavy heart" at not being able to support the French athletes at the Games.

The Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes has reminded people that the temporary vaccination centre at Cap3000 in St Laurent du Var is still open. The centre is stafffed by firefighters from the department and is open without appointment seven days a week from 10am to 8pm.

Two French Presidential candidates have received the required number of sponsors to be able to run in the election. Figures released by the Constitutional Council, which keeps track of the number of sponsonsorships from local elected officials, showed that both Anne Hidalgo and Valerie Pecresse had obtained more than the required 500 signatures. President Macron has also received more than 500 signatures but has yet to declare his candidacy.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has thanked President Macron for appointing Alpes Maritimes firefighter Loïc Millo to the rank of Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur. The award was published in the French Official Journal yesterday. Loïc Millo was a volunteer firefighter who had served for 11 years and lost his life during the floods of Storm Alex in October 2020.

French Health Minister Olivier Veran has appealed for donations of blood. He said that the blood supply has "never been so low" and the situation is "urgent". An interactive map showing blood donation locations throughout France, including several in our region, can be found on the website https://dondesang.efs.sante.fr/trouver-une-collecte


France has recorded the worst trade defecit in its history. In 2021 the defecit was 84.7 billion euros, which is 3.4% of GDP. However, the government said that the overall performance of France's foreign trade "is more positive" with the balance of services recording a record surplus of 36.2 billion euros.

BP has announced its highest annual profit in eight years. The energy company posted a profit of $12.8bn. Chief Executive Bernard Looney said the company was "delivering for shareholders" with $4.15bn of share buybacks and an increased dividend. He added that BP had also made "strong progress" in its transformation towards becoming a low carbon energy business.

Technology company NVIDIA will not be continuing with its aquisition of UK chipmaker Arm from SoftBank.  The two companies said that they had agreed to terminate the deal because of "significant regulatory challenges preventing the consummation of the transaction, despite good faith efforts by the parties". Arm will now start preparations for a public offering.



Cricket...Australia have won the third women's one day international against England by eight wickets. England, who had already lost the Test series, were 163 all out and Australia won with 13.4 overs to spare.

Football... There are several English Premier League matches this evening. Newcastle play Everton, West Ham take on Watford and Burnley are at home to Manchester United.

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