Evening Update Wednesday 7 July 2021

A heavy goods vehicles and five cars were involved in a serious accident on the A8 motorway this afternoon at about 1.50pm between Mandelieu (n ° 40) and the Les Adrets exit (n ° 39). Reports say that at least one person has died and there are several serious injuries. For a reason not yet determined a heavy goods vehicle traveling in the direction of Italy, crossed the roadway, hit the slide rails and ended up on the carriageway in the direction of Aix en Provence. Emergency services attended the scene, including firefighters who were deployed to extinguish a brush fire at the side of the motorway started by the accident.  Both carriages of the motorway were cut while emergency services attended to the accident. The motorway reopened to traffic in both directions early this evening.

French government spokesperson Gabiel Attal has said that the Delta coronavirus variant now represents 40% of all Covid-19 cases in France. Speaking after a Council of Ministers meeting this morning he said that the variant "is formidable, it is extremely fast"and "the risk of a rapid fourth wave is there". He said that 11 French regions are seeing an increase in the Covid-19 incidence rate which has increased by 21% nationally and in the case of 20-29 year olds it has "practically doubled in a week". He added that "there are particularly strong epidemic dynamics in the Provence Alpes Cote-d'Azur and Ile de France regions as well as in Brittany. He called for "massive" vaccination saying that "vaccination is our trump card to get out of the tunnel, we must seize it". A meeting of the health defence council will be held on Monday.

Travellers arriving in France who are required to have a Covid-19 test on arrival under current regulations will have to pay for the test as from today. The cost will be 49 euros for a PCR test and 29 euros for an antigen test.

Tributes have been paid to former senator for the Alpes-Maritimes Pierre Laffitte who has died at the age of 96. He also founded the Sophia-Antipolis science park. Mayor of Antibes Juan-les-Pins Jean Leonetti expressed his sadness and called M. Laffitte a "visionary spirit". Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said that as a senator, he was very close to people from rural areas, present both in Vésubie and Tinée valleys and on major urban issues.

Two landlords in Marseille have received prison sentences for renting out dangerous housing. The properties are located in the 3rd and 5th arrondissements. The offences took place between 2018 and this year.

Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard has inaugurated the  Espace Miramar which has been undergoing renovation works. The cinema screening room has been equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. The project is co-financed by the Cannes town hall and by a patron of the arts world. The mayor said that he would like to thank  Cannes taxpayers for making it the city with the largest budget allocated to culture.

Motorway operator VINCI Autoroutes have said that heavy traffic is expected in a southerly direction for this coming weekend. In the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Region traffic will be very heavy on this Friday from mid-afternoon and until early evening, especially on the outskirts of large cities such as Toulon, Marseille, Nice and Aix-en-Provence. Difficulties are also expected this Saturday July 10, from mid-morning until mid-afternoon, in both directions of traffic. On Sunday the 11th, traffic will be mostly heavy at the end of the day. Between Aubagne and La Ciotat, traffic is expected to be very heavy from late morning until early afternoon towards Toulon, and at the end of the day towards Aubagne.

 

BUSINESS

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport have announced that they are launchig a trial scheme aimed at simplifying travel rules for fully vaccinated passengers. The trial, which is due to start this weekend, will allow passengers who are fully vaccinated and are travelling on selected flights to Heathrow from Athens, Los Angeles, Montego Bay and New York to show proof of their vaccination status. Anonymised data will be shared with the UK Government to provide real world insights to support the possible introduction of a scheme to exempt fully vaccinated passengers from self-isolation. Participants will have to continue to adhere to current restrictions for travellers entering from ‘amber list’ countries during the trial period but will be able to use a dedicated arrivals lane at Heathrow.

Samsung Electronics has forecast a large rise in profits for the three months to the end of June. It said strong demand for memory chips had offset weaker sales of devices and that it expects profits for the quarter to rise by 53% to $11bn.

 

SPORT

Euro 2020... Tonight’s second semi final sees England trying to reach the final of a major competition for the first time since the World Cup in 1966. They're playing Denmark whose squad continue to play for team-mate Christien Erikson who suffered a cardiac arrest in their opening group game but is now slowly recovering. Kick off at Wembley is at 9pm in front of about 60,000 spectators in the stadium. The winner of tonight's match will play Italy in the final at Wembley on Sunday night.

Cricket... West Indies all-rounder Kyle Mayers is joining Birmingham Bears for the final three T20 Blast group games. He'll play his first match against Worcestershire on Friday.

Rugby Union...South Africa's match against Georgia has been cancelled because both teams have cases of Covid-19. Meanwhile, two British and Irish Lions players are isolating after one of the management team tested positive for coronavirus. Organisers say today's game against the Sharks will go ahead provided another round of testing does not produce any more positive results, but kick-off is being moved to 19:00 UK time.

Tennis... Roger Federer is out of Wimbledon after losing 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-0 to 14th seed Hubert Hurkacz. Novak Djokovic defeated Marton Fucsovics to reach the semi-finals. The final score was 6-3 6-4 6-4.
 

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