Evening Update Wednesday 23 September 2020

The Monaco government has announced new coronavirus related measures. The annual fair on Port Hercule, which would have taken place from October 16 to November 19 has been cancelled as has the Heritage Day scheduled for Sunday 27 September. As from September 25, gatherings will be limited to 1,000 people, except in exceptional circumstances, and the sale of take-away alcohol will be prohibited from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Alcohol consumption in public spaces is already prohibited in the Principality. In order to limit traffic outside Monaco, school trips outside the national territory are temporarily prohibited.

The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has said that visits to state residential homes for the elderly will be gradually resumed after recent tests had shown 0% positive cases in the residential homes. He said that visits would be in an "organized and very secure manner". He added that the geriatrics department of the University Hospital of Nice has an unoccupied unit with 25 beds. The mayor said he is asking the regional Health Agency and the Prefect to requisition doctors and nurses to medically activate this unit in order to accommodate seniors from nursing homes who test positive and asymptomatic.

French Minister of Health Olivier Veran is scheduled to give his weekely update on cornavirus measures at 7pm this evening. A updated map of coronavirus zones is expected to be released. Reports suggest that several areas which are currently "red" zones may be moved to a higher level.

Cannes town hall is assisting in the opening of a laboratory dedicated to COVID tests for priority people with results within 24 hours. Located at 27-29 boulevard de la Ferrage, the town hall says that the facility guarantees reception slots for the symptomatic, staff of companies, medical establishments and retirement homes, communities and contact cases. The new facility is being operated alongside other existing coronavirus testing facilities in Cannes.

An armed man has been arrested after barracading himself in his home in Draguignan. Specialist police RAID forces were called after the man in his forties opened fire from inside his house. It's believed he had been threatening to end his own life and was under the influence of alcohol. He was eventually taken into custody without any injuries occurring.

An area in the centre of Frejus has suffered disruption to gas supplies today. An incident during works being carried out locally meant that supplies were cut in an area to the south of the railway station.

A migrant rescue ship is heading for Marseille having been refused entry by several countries. The Alan Kurdi, which is operated by German Non-governmental Organization Sea-Eye, rescued 133 people in the Meditteranean last weekend. The organization says that it informed the maritime rescue coordination centres of Italy, Malta, Germany and France, as well as the German Foreign Office requesting a safe port but none of them replied. As a result, the ship is now heading for Marseille where it was previously scheduled to dock in order to carry out a crew change and prepare for its next mission. The First Deputy Mayor of Marseille said this afternoon that the city will welcome the ship "unconditionally".

Meanwhile, the EU has today called for a new compulsory system to manage migration. Under the proposals member states would either agree to take in asylum seekers or take charge of sending back those who are refused asylum.

Meteo France has said that this summer was the driest on record since at least 1959, which was the year comparable records began. It's the third consecutive year that the summer period has reached levels of drought never before measured.

A famous Nice landmark is getting a makeover. The water mirror on the Promenade du Paillon will close tomorrow for renovation works. The mirror, which has 132 water jets and 256 LED lights, will be back in action on  October 5.



The UK government believes that there could be queues of 7,000 trucks waiting in Kent after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December. The "reasonable worst case scenario" is contained in a letter from cabinet minister Michael Gove to representatives of the freight industry. He said that both imports and exports could be disrupted to a similar extent and that the disruption could last three months or more.

The International Labour Organization has published figures showing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on workers' incomes around the world. The UN body etimated that work related income had declined by 10.7% in the first three quarters of this year compared to last year. It said that 3.5 trillion dollars in work income had been lost.

A widely watched survey suggests  a contraction in economic activity in France in recent weeks. The CIPS/Markit index for for France was 48.5. A figure above 50 shows economic expansion and below 50 contraction. It's the first decline in French business activity since May. The equivalent figure for the UK fell to 55.7 in September from 59.1 in August. The figure for the Eurozone in September was 50.1, down from 51.9 in August.



Rugby Union... Rob Howley has been named as the new assistant coach for the Canadian national team. The appointment marks a return to the sport for the former Wales coach after a ban for betting on matches. Howley will also act as a consultant to Toronto Arrows.

Quantas has ended its sponsorship with Rugby Australia. The announcement brings to an end a 30-year partnership. The airline said that it was stopping cash sponsorship of all sports, but would continue to support Cricket Australia and Football Federation Australia for another year in other ways not involving a cash outlay.

Football... Wolves have signed Nelson Semedo from Barcelona. The 26 year old has also played in the Portugese national team, having won 13 caps.

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