Evening Update Tuesday 9 February 2021

French Health Minister Olivier Veran has said that it's possible that confinement will never be reintroduced. Speaking to French media earlier today he said that despite the level of the virus being "stable and high", President Macron had been right not to reintroduce confinement and confinement is "a choice of necessity" and is not an easy choice. The minister also said today that the reinforced curfew "stabilized the epidemic situation", the spread of variants is being tracked and slowed down and the most vulnerable are being protected thanks to vaccines. He said that he is convinced the coronavirus will be defeated and that "we still need time and courage, but we will get there".

A new vaccination center dedicated to people over 75 years old has opened today in Aups in the Haut Var. It's the tenth such centre to open in the department. Details of how to make an appointment at all the centres can be found at http://www.var.gouv.fr/la-vaccination-dans-le-var-a9179.html

The municipality of Antibes Juan-les-Pins has published its weekly update of coronavirus numbers at the hospital in Antibes. During the period from February 1 to 7, there were 31 hospitalized patients of which 6 were in intensive care. There were 7 deaths of patients  aged 80 to 93. The results of Covid-19 tests carried out at Fort Carré during the past week were also published. Out of 2,153 tests on symptomatic subjects and priority contacts, 8.59% were positive.

The oldest person in Europe has recovered from Covid-19. Sister Andre, who is a resident of a retirement home in Toulon celbrates her 117th birthday this Thursday.

In other news, two paddle boarders have been rescued after getting into difficulties in the high winds off Antibes this afternoon. The two people were reportedly about one nautical mile offshore when they called for help on their mobile phone. CROSSMED have warned people to exercise caution.

A firefighter who lost his life during Storm Alex last October has been nominated to the rank of knight in the order of the Légion d'honneur. Bruno Kohlhuber, had been in the fire service for 28 years. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi expressed his thanks to President Macron for the nomination and said that his thoughts are also with the family and relatives of Loïc Millo, a volunteer firefighter who also disappeared while working in the valleys affected by the storm.

The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs has given an award to two municipalities in our region. The awards, made under the EXPE-CT programme aimed at enhancing the expertise of local authorities, were given to Nice for security and the municipal police and to Cannes for the prevention of terrorist risk in the management of event organization. Deputy mayor of Nice Anthony Borre expressed his appreciation to all the agents involved in the security of the people of Nice.

A 21 year old man has been shot in La Garde in the Var this morning. He was taken to hospital in Toulon and is reported to be in a stable condition. Police have opened an investigation and are searching for two men in connection with the incident.

Many departments in northern France are on a Meteo France orange level alert for cold weather, snow and icy conditions. In some departments heavy goods vehicles are being restricted and charities are appealing for donations of clothing and other items for those in need because of the freezing temperatures. In Calais, an extreme emergency accomodation system has been activated to give shelter to homeless people.

 

BUSINESS

Travel company Tui has said that summer bookings for 2021 are down 44% so far compared with last year. However, it also said that 2.8 million customers already booked its holidays and it expects to run 80% of its normal capacity for this summer.

Online food retailer Ocado Group has reported a 35% increase in retail revenue for the year to 29 November 2020, reflecting strong demand for online groceries in the UK. CEO Tim Steiner said that the rapid acceleration of many pre-existing trends in business and society has been a feature of the Covid-19 crisis and the "landscape for food retailing is changing, for good".


SPORT

Cricket... England have beaten India by 227 runs on the final day of the first Test in Chennai. James Anderson took 3-17 and Jack Leach took 4-76. England take the lead into the second match of the four-Test series, which begins on Saturday.

Tennis... Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev are amongst the players going through to the second round of the Australian Open after wins today. Defending womens champion Sofia Kenin and world number one Ashleigh Barty are also through to the next round.

Football.. There are two FA Cup 5th round ties tonight as the game’s authorities attempt to play as many matches as possible to avoid too much congestion. Burnley play Bournemouth and Manchester United host West Ham.

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