Evening Update Wednesday 29 September 2021

French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal has said that the government wishes to keep the possibility of using the health pass beyond it's current end date of 15 November. Speaking after a Council of Ministers meeting this morning, he said that a parliamentary bill will be proposed with the aim of maintaining the possibility of using the health pass "for several more months until the summer".

Gabrial Attal also confirmed that a new health protocol for schools will be tested in ten departments.

As regards vaccinations, he said that the campaign of booster vaccinations will continue and that one million people had received booster shots so far. He stressed the importance of a booster dose saying that there is a risk for people who have been fully vaccinated because immunity declines over time.

The Education Ministry has issued a reminder that as of tomorrow, September 30, adolescents from 12 years and 2 months will have to present a health pass to go to places and events where it is required. The Ministry also reminded students and parents that a Health Pass will not be necessary to go to school.

The Prefect of the Var has said that as of yesterday, there were 52 patients hospitalized because of Covid-19 in the department, which is 19 less than the previous week. 24 people were in intensive care, which is down 6 on the prior week. 6 people have died during the week.

A French public research body is looking for volunteers to take part in a test of Covid-19 transmissability in night clubs. The ANRS said it is looking for 4,400 people "ready to get involved in science and nightlife". They must be between 18 and 49 years old and have received a complete vaccination schedule. The aim is to assess the risk of infection by SARS-CoV-2 during an experimental evening in a full capacity disco, in an enclosed place, among people who are vaccinated and without a compulsory mask. The event was originally scheduled to take place in June but was cancelled because of a lack of volunteers. The latest test will take place on Sunday, October 17 at the Bellevilloise centre and the Machine du Moulin Rouge venue in Paris.

President Macron has attended a tribute ceremony in honour of a French soldier who was killed in Mali. Sergeant Maxime Blasco died on September 24 during combat action. He was awarded the insignia of Knight of the Legion d'Honneur at the ceremony at Les Invalides in Paris this afternoon.

Municipal and National Police in Nice have been involved in the evacuation of a squat located behind the Carrefour Lingostière shopping centre. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said that the occupants were at the origin of the serious fire nearby a few weeks ago and had left behind tons of non-recoverable waste including dangerous or asbestos-containing items and also vehicles.

HSH Prince Albert II and the Monaco government have expressed their great sadness at the death of one of the Principality's senior public officials. Commander Christophe David, who was Head of the Secretariat of the Director of the Sûreté Publique, lost his life in a motorbike accident on his way to work yesterday morning. The Prince said he wishes to assure the family of Commander David of his deep sorrow. He also expressed his immense sadness to the body of the Sûreté Publique in the Principality which has been deeply affected by the accident.

The town of Villars-sur-Var in the Alpes-Maritimes has been recognized as a beneficiary of a state of natural disaster for the floods and mudslides of July 26. The interministerial decree was published in the official journal on September 28.  The victims have 10 days from publication of the decree to submit an estimated statement of their losses with their insurance companies in order to benefit from the compensation scheme.



UK retailer Next has warned of staff shortages unless immigration rules for workers are relaxed. It said that some of its business areas were "beginning to come under pressure", including warehouse and logistics staffing and urged the UK government to "take a more decisive approach to the looming skills crisis". Meanwhile, UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed that 150 army personnel will be mobilised to help alleviate the country's shortage of petrol tanker drivers which has caused shortages at petrol stations recently. He also said that a "reserve tanker fleet" of civilians are on the road as of this afternoon.

Chinese property company Evergrande has said that it is selling a stake it owns in a commercial bank to repay debts to that bank. A stake of almost 20% in Shengjing Bank is being bought by a Chinese state-owned asset management company for $1.5bn. The announcement comes after Evergrande missed a bond interest payment last week.



Winter Olympics... Former Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford has been named in one of the Great Britain bobsleigh squads that is aiming to qualify for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Rutherford began bobsleigh training in April. The games are scheduled to be held in Beijing in February next year.

Rugby Union... English Premiership club Bath have loaned Max Wright to Newcastle Falcons on a three-month deal. He's played 36 games for Bath since joining in 2017. He was also a World Rugby Under-20's Championship winner with England in 2016.

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