Evening Update Wednesday 12 January 2022

French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal has said that a further easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions between France and the UK will be announced "in the coming days". He said that work is continuing on the matter and he hoped an announcement can be made "by the end of the week". Speaking at a press conference after the Council of Ministers meeting this morning, he said that the load from Covid-19 cases in French hospitals continues to grow, but not in proportion to the number of cases and the link between the number of Covid infections and hospitalisations has been broken. He added that we must be careful not to say too early that cases have peaked. He said "the goal is to live as normally as possible with the virus". Gabriel Attal confirmed information given by Health Minister Olivier Veran earlier today that about 12 million Covid-19 tests have been carried out in France in the past week. He said that 11 million additional self tests are being delivered to pharmacies.

Education establishments across France are preparing for industrial action by teachers which is still scheduled to go ahead tomorrow and is expected to be widely observed by union members. Staff are protesting at the government's health protocols for schools. Gabriel Attal today defended the government's approach, saying that it had been vindicated by the fact that there had been fewer school closures than in Germany, Italy and the United States. He said that "the closure of schools is a decsion we must avoid at all costs". He added that the government ministers are supportive of Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.

The Monaco government has issued a reminder of the actions which should be taken by people in the Principality who experience symptoms that could raise concerns about infection with SARS-CoV-2 or any other virus. In the event of symptoms suggestive of Covid or another disease such as gastroenteritis, you're advised to contact the Covid call centre on Monaco 92 05 55 00, which is available 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. An operator will instruct you on how to perform a PCR test if necessary. The Monaco government says that the symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, fatigue, headache, cough and sore throat, body aches, respiratory discomfort, loss of smell, etc. It said that if you need medical advice, call your doctor or on-call medical service. The government says that in the event of mild symptoms, people should not go to the emergency room at the Princess Grace Hospital as this is reserved for imperative care and for emergency reasons, but should call their attending or on-call doctor who can quickly give them directions to follow. If your symptoms worsen, you have trouble breathing, or are short of breath, contact the Monaco fire department on 18 or 112.

A person has been taken into police custody in connection with the unsolved murder of a British family and a French citizen. A British man, his wife and her mother as well as a French cyclist were all killed in the shooting in Chevaline in the Haute-Savoie in 2012. The couple's two daughters survived the attack.

Nice has appeared in sixth place in a list of the least stressful cities in France. The city of Angers in the north-west took first place in the list published by newspaper Le Figaro and which featured the twenty largest cities in France. A variety of criterea were used to compile the list including road noise, traffic jams, travel time between home and work, population density, sunshine and online activity.

The French Securite Civile has taken delivery of a new Dash water bombing aircraft. By 2023, 2 additional aircraft will be delivered to participate in particular in the aerial response system against forest fires.

 

BUSINESS

Consumer prices in the United States have risen at the fastest rate in almost 40 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that annual inflation rose to 7% in December, up from 6.8% in November.

The chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica has said that high energy prices for UK consumers could last up to two years. Speaking to the BBC Chris O'Shea said that there was "no reason" to expect gas prices would come down "any time soon" and "the market suggests the high gas prices will be here for the next 18 months to two years".

UK supermarket owner Sainsbury's has upgraded its profit guidance. In it's third Quarter Trading Statement CEO Simon Roberts said that investment and higher operating cost inflation are expected to be offset by structural cost savings and stronger than expected grocery volumes.

 

SPORT

Tennis... Novak Djokovic has admitted in an Instagram post there were mistakes on his immigration forms and to meeting a journalist, despite testing positive for Covid-19. He is still aiming to play in the Australian Open which begins next Monday but it's still open to the Austalian government to cancel his visa.

Football... There's one game in the Premier League tonight. West Ham play Norwich, while Spurs play Chelsea in the second leg of the English League Cup semi final trailing 2-0 from last week's first leg.

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