Evening Update Wednesday 2 December 2020

Prime Minister Jean Castex is set to announce the French government's Covid-19 vaccination plan at 6.30 tomorrow evening. Several government ministers are also expected to be present at the press conference.

In other news, Jean Castex has said that random border checks will be carried out to stop French holidaymakers going to ski in Switzerland and Spain. He added that anyone who did go could face seven days of quarantine on their return if ordered by the prefects of nearby departments. Several EU leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel have tried to co-ordinate plans on access to ski resorts. Reports say that the Swiss government will decide on Friday whether to impose a limit on visitors to the country's ski resorts. Locally, the Mayor of Isola2000, together with many locals, staged a protest this morning to draw attention to their request that the resort should reopen on 19 December.

The CEO of SNCF has said that the rail operator may end the year with a "significant loss". Addressing a Senate committee this morning Jean-Pierre Farandou estimated that the loss could be twice that of the loss in the first half of this year, which would amount to a 5 billion euros loss for the full year. However, he said that he hoped for a second half which is "less bad" than the first half.

Tributes have been paid to a regional officer who died after being hit by a lorry at the Eucalyptus school in Nice this morning. Renauld Muselier, the President of the PACA Regional Council, and Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi both expressed their condolances to the man's family and loved ones. A psychological support unit has been set up to help those affected by the incident.

Local elected officials have been inspecting progress on the reconstruction of roads in the Tinee and Vesubie valleys today. More than 120 agents and 14 companies have been mobilized for essential work on the RM 2205 since Storm Alex hit the area in early October. The final delivery of the road, which will have two lanes in each direction, is expected in May 2021.

Municipal police in Cannes have arrested one person and impounded an uninsured and unregistered motorbike allegedly used for so-called "urban rodeos" on the city's streets. A total of fifteen such bikes have been siezed by police since the beginning of this year.

A ceremony was held in Frejus this morning to mark the 61st anniversary of the Malpasset Dam disaster. The dam, which was part of a reservoir on a tributary of the Argens river, collapsed on 2 December 1959 leading to the loss of 423 lives.


BUSINESS

The UK medicines regulator has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. The MHRA said the vaccine is safe to be rolled out and Pfizer has said that 800,000 doses are due to arrive in the UK in the coming days. Elderly people in care homes and care home staff have been placed top of the UK priority list, followed by over-80s and health and care staff.

Tesco has announced that it's paying back 585 million pounds of business rates relief it received during the pandemic. It said that "every penny" of rates relief it had received had been spent on its response to the pandemic and that it was "immensely grateful" for government support measures.

UK women's fashion chain Bonmarché has gone into administration. The Yorkshire based retailer which specialises in clothing for the over 50's has 225 stores across the UK. Administrators said the stores would continue to trade while options for the business were explored.


SPORT

Motorsports.... Michael Schumacher's son Mick Schumacher, has signed a "multi-year contract" with the Haas team. He said the move was "a dream come true". Mick Schumacher has a long term contract with Ferrari and the Italian team said that the "eventual aim" was for him to drive for them in Formula 1 "one day".

It's been announced that Williams driver George Russell will replace Lewis Hamilton for this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix after Hamilton tested positive for Covid-19. Reserve driver Jack Aitken will replace Russell in the Williams team for this weekend's race.

Cricket... India have beaten Australia by 13-runs in the one day series match in Canberra today. However, Australia win the series 2-1.

 

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