Evening Update Wednesday 6 January 2021

300 vaccination centres are going to be opened across France next week and a further 500 in the following week according to a government spokesperson speaking after this morning's meeting of the Health Defence Council . Minister of Health Olivier Veran said yesterday evening that more than 5,000 vaccinations had been carried out in France yesterday. The vaccines were administered in 30 centres across the country. Meanwhile, reports today have said that there have been problems with administering some vaccines in Nice because the needles used with syringes have been too short in length.

Prime Minister Jean Castex is due to hold a press conference tomorrow at 6pm. He's expected to address a wide range of issues relating to the virus including the government's vaccination strategy and the effectiveness of the curfews currently in force. It's thought that he may also comment on the latest developments regarding the closure of restaurants, ski lifts and cultural venues. After this morning's Defence Council meeting the government spokesperson refused to comment on any possible reopening of restaurants and ski lifts, instead referring people to the Prime Minister's address tomorrow.  

The European Medicines Agency has today given its approval to the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. Approval of the EU commission is now required before the vaccine can be rolled out across the European Union. Commission President Ursula von der Layen welcomed the decision by the EMA describing it as "good news for our efforts to bring more Covid-19 vaccines to Europeans".

Olympique de Marseille football club has said that it will make premises within its stadium available to the Regional Health Agency to facilitate the organization of the vaccination campaign. The club said that the characteristics of the stadium make it possible to accommodate the necessary logistics and to set up several different environments, from pre-vaccination consultation to vaccination sessions.

Police in the Var have seized 92g of heroin and 1kg of other drugs following a curfew check on a scooter rider. Almost 10,000 euros in cash was also seized. The Prefect of the Var expressed his thanks to the gendarmes.

Details of the of 79th edition of the Paris-Nice cycling race have been revealed. The race will start in the Yvelines department on March 7. In our region the route will pass through Brignoles and Biot on 12 March, Nice and La Colmiane on the 13th before riders cross the finish line in Nice on the 14th March. Organizers said that the race will pay tribute to the populations of the Tinée and Vésubie valleys affected by Storm Alex last October.

Legendary French chef and restaurateur Albert Roux has died at the age of 85. Together with his brother Michel he opened the famous Le Gavroche restaurant in London's Mayfair in 1967. Michel died last year at the age of 78.



UK bakery retailer Greggs says that it expects to make a loss of up to £15 million for the year. It said it does not expect profits to return to pre-Covid levels until 2022 at the earliest. Greggs recently cut 820 jobs. It would be it's first annual loss since listing on the stock market in 1984.

Figures released today suggest that economic contraction in the Eurozone was worse than initially thought. The final figure for the IHS Markit survey of purchasing managers was 49.1 against an initial estimate of 49.8. A figure below 50 indicates contraction of the economy and over 50 expansion. Ireland posted the highest figure in the Eurozone in December with a figure of 53.4 which is a four month high.

Veteran musician Neil Young has sold half of the rights to his songs to a music investment fund. The deal with Hipgnosis Songs Fund covers 1,180 compositions.



Rugby Union... This Saturday's match between Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers has been cancelled due to coronavirus cases at the Northampton club. The match won't be rescheduled, with a Premiership Rugby panel deciding on the allocation of points instead.

Cricket...The England touring party have passed coronavirus tests in Sri Lanka. They had a lateral flow test and PCR and can start restricted training but must undergo a third Covid-19 test tomorrow.

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