Evening Update Wednesday 30 December 2020

It's emerged that local elected officials are divided regarding a possible change in the start time of the curfew in the Alpes Maritimes. A central government Defence Council meeting yesterday was reportedly in favour of changing the curfew start time from 8pm to 6pm from 2 January in twenty departments, including the Alpes Maritimes. The Minister of Health said last night that the curfew may be changed to 6pm but consultations are underway with local elected officials.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, who is in favour of the earlier start time, said that he had estimated that reconfinement would penalize "an immense majority of the population" but an early curfew would avoid "a total interruption of economic activity". He said that local government had asked that this curfew measure be associated with an accelerated vaccination campaign and the Minister of Health, Oliver Veran, "had listened to us". He said that there would be a reinforced police presence in Nice to monitor the curfew.

However, this evening several other elected officials in our region have called for the government to abandon any plans to change the curfew to 6pm. David Lisnard, president of the agglomeration Cannes Pays de Lérins, Charles Ange Ginésy, president of the Departmental Council, Jean Leonetti, president of the Sophia Antipolis agglomeration, and Jérôme Viaud, president of the Pays de Grasse agglomeration, say that they dispute the relevance of a 6pm curfew. They said that it risks having a counterproductive effect because people will congregate in large retail outlets in shorter times and that it would have been more effective to establish strict border controls and impose tests on all travelers arriving at the airport. They said that "no prior consultation was organized with the Mayors, the decision was taken from Paris". Earlier today David Lisnard said that while bars and restaurants are closed, the curfew going from 8 pm to 6 pm seems unnecessary "and once again involves changing the regulations as well as the opening hours - therefore employee schedules - of equipment and shops".

The Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes, Bernard Gonzalez, took part in an audio-conference this morning with the department's services and elected officials regarding  the implementation of government announcements relating to the vaccination campaign and possible curfew changes.

An 82 year old man has become the first person in Nice to receive a coronavirus vaccine. Pierre-Claude, who is a resident of the elderly care facility at Nice University Hospital received the injection this morning. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said that the vaccination campaign will continue in nursing homes and then the general population. He urged all French people and all the people of Nice to get vaccinated to fight against "this pandemic which is endangering our health and our economy". He invited the people of Nice to continue to pre-register on the webiste https://vaccincovid19.nice.fr/VC19/

The Prefect of the Var has drawn attention to the fact that the sale, carrying, transport and use of firecrackers, fireworks and pyrotechnic items is prohibited up to and including next Wednesday, January 6. Similar provisions are in force in the Alpes-Maritimes up to and including 2nd January.

The mayor of Cannes David Lisnard has visited the premises of the Saint-Vincent de Paul association in the town this morning. Volunteers at the association work year round to offer help to those in a precarious situation, including meals, bus tickets, overnight stays, and administrative help. 2,694 packed lunches were served and 382 people were assisted in 2020.

 

BUSINESS

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has signed the Brexit trade deal agreed with the EU. This afternoon MPs in the House of Commons approved the bill implementing the agreement by 521 votes to 73. The bill has now been passed to the House of Lords which is also expected to approve the legislation. Earlier today the Presidents of the EU Commission and the EU Council, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel signed the document on behalf of the European Union, with the document then being flown to London for the Prime Minister's signature.

The coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and Astra Zeneca has received approval from the UK medicines regulator. The vaccine is easier to store and distribute than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and vaccinations are expected to start with the new vaccine in the UK next Monday. The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine.

 

SPORT

Cricket.... New Zealand have beaten Pakistan by 101 runs in the First Test. The match went right down to the wire with last man Naseem Shah being caught and bowled out by Mitchell Santner with just with just 4.3 overs left.

Australia have dropped opener Joe Burns for the final two Tests against India next month. David Warner has been recalled and uncapped batsman Will Pucovski has also been included.

Football.... This evening's Premier League game between Fulham and Tottenham has been called off at the last minute because of coronavirus cases at Fulham. It had been due to kick off at 7pm our time.

West Brom manager Sam Allardyce has said that football needs a break after the Premier League returned its highest number of positive coronavirus results in a single round of tests this season. In the  latest round of Premier League tests yesterday, 18 people were found to have the virus.

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