French and Riviera News Friday 2nd April 2021

News

New measures - From tomorrow Saturday 3rd April all French departments will be subject to the same rules and restrictions, almost identical to those that applied until now in 19 departments.

The 7pm curfew will be maintained in the whole of France; no outing is authorized except for one of the eight derogatory reasons mentioned on the certificates which are for:

  • Professional activity, education and training
  • Medical consultations and care
  • Compelling family reason, vulnerable or precarious individual or childcare
  • Situation of handicap
  • Judicial or administrative reasons
  • Mission of general interest
  • Transit and long-distance movements
  • Caring for your pet

Between 6am and 7pm, everyone is allowed to circulate freely in public provided they do not go more than 10 km from their place of residence as the crow flies. Unlike the previous lockdowns, these outdoor trips are authorized "without any time limit": an identity document or any other proof of address will be requested.

Trips of more than 10 km under certain conditions

If you wish to venture beyond a radius of 10 km during the day, you must be in possession of a completed exceptional travel certificate.

The reasons allowing you to travel within your department or in neighboring departments located less than 30km from your home are:

  • Shopping, purchases
  • Accompanying children to school (for those that have access to childcare, for example medical staff).
  • Cultural establishment or place of worship
  • Administrative or legal procedures

You can also travel without limitation of distance by ticking one of the following reasons:

  • Professional activity, education and training
  • Mission of general interest
  • Health (consultations and care)
  • Pressing family reason, vulnerable or precarious people or childcare
  • Situation of handicap
  • Judicial or administrative summons
  • Relocation and transit movement to stations and airports

Meetings in small groups outdoors

Gatherings in public spaces must be limited to six people, with a few exceptions (large families, funerals, declared events, public ceremonies, professional activities, supervised sporting activities, transport). New for this month of April: alcohol consumption on public roads, especially in parks and in front of bars, is no longer authorized.

Emmanuel Macron calls on the French, to "avoid private gatherings, parties with friends, family, relatives", especially at home. This is a recommendation and not a ban, as the Head of State does not have the legal means to impose a maximum number of guests in the homes. The government is relying on everyone to act responsibly.

Purchases in a reduced number of stores

Only businesses deemed to be "essential" can remain open, in particular food, garages or even computer and IT stores. The list, available on the government website, has been expanded compared to the previous lockdowns allowing hairdressers, booksellers, record stores and florists to continue to welcome customers. Other businesses wishing to maintain an activity must be satisfied with delivery or "click and collect".

Travel tolerated during the Easter weekend

This tolerance "ends Monday evening", April 5th, according to the Ministry of the Interior, which specifies that it "concerns only travel during the day, to go to spend the next few weeks in a place of your choice". The curfew rules will thus remain valid during Easter weekend.

Childcare and childminders – Concerning childcare and childminders the decision has not yet been resolved and the French government is expected to make an announcement today. The Prime Minister had initially indicated that childminders could no longer welcome children.

Priority childcare - For the region there are certain minimum reception facilities for childcare open to priority personnel in the following sectors: health, rescue and security and parents whose job cannot be done remotely. 

CAGNES SUR MER - Registration should be made with the early childhood service 04 93 22 39 65 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm.

NICE - City of Nice with the Academy of Nice will welcome children from priority families, go to the city of Nice website.

VENCE – For information contact prioritairecovid@ville-vence.fr.

SAINT-LAURENT-DU-VAR - The City of Saint-Laurent-du-Var and the National Education are organizing a "center for the reception of children of nursing staff and liberal medical and paramedical staff, extended to all children of "priority professions". Go to the town hall website.

Alpes Maritimes no longer has the highest incidence rate in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region - The Regional Health Agency (Public Health France) has reported 12 new deaths linked to Covid on Thursday in hospitals in the Alpes-Maritimes. The incidence rate has reportedly stabilized at 473 with the Bouches du Rhone now overtaking the Alpes Maritimes hit by a sharp increase in its incidence rate of 480 on April 1st.

Meanwhile French Minister of Health Olivier Veran has said that the peak of the epidemic could be reached in seven to ten days "if all goes well". Speaking to French media, he said that it would then take two more weeks to reach the peak of intensive care patients. He also announced the opening of a new intensive care facility in the Paris region.

Survey - More than 70% of people approve of the main measures announced by President Macron, according to a survey for Franceinfo and Le Figaro. The survey also suggested that 46% intend to break the rules.

In other news 

Strike action - The public transport network of the Nice Côte d'Azur metropolitan area will be severely disrupted today due to national strike action. According to the latest information from Lignes d'Azur, no trams will run in Nice and many bus lines (including the four busiest) will not be operating.

Storm Alex - Alpes-Maritimes deputy Eric Ciotti and President of the Alpes-Maritimes departmental council Charles Ange-Ginesy have written to President Macron asking for the government to honour its financial commitments after Storm Alex. They said that the cost of works is estimated to be one billion euros but only 26 million euros has been received from the state out of at least 100 million euros promised.

Business

US manufacturing activity soared to its highest level in more than 37 years in March driven by strong growth of new orders. The figures from the Institute for Supply Management are the clearest sign yet that a much anticipated economic boom is probably underway. ISM said on Thursday that it’s index of national factory activity jumped to a reading of 64.7 last month from 60.8 in February. That’s the highest level since December 1983. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing which accounts for 11.9% of the US economy. Economic growth is expected to take off this year boosted by the White House’s massive $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package and the reopening of non-essential businesses as more Americans are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC has announced plans to invest $100 billion over the next three years to increase its capacity. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is the world’s largest contract chip maker of clients including Apple. The company had already planned to spend up to $28 billion this year to develop and produce advanced micro chips. The new major investment comes as a global chip shortage hits the car industry. Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota and General Motors have all had to reduce production as a result of the shortage. The problem started because car companies cancelled orders when demand slumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Chip makers then switched to selling their products to other industries with greater demand leaving carmakers unable to retrieve cancelled orders when demand grew again.

Credit Suisse shares rose on Thursday ending a losing streak in which they shed nearly a fifth of their value. Credit Suisse is yet to say how much it lost in trades for the stricken US fund Archegos after defaults on margin calls  caused a number of  banks to rapidly unwind billions of dollars of leveraged trades. Credit Suisse and Japan’s Nomora have born the brunt of the losses with the Swiss lender warning it could have a material impact on its profits. The bank is expected to detail in the coming days the scale of the losses its facing as a result of its dealings with Archegos. Some reports say they could be as high as $5 billion.

Sport

Football – The English Premier League is back in action this weekend following the international break. On Saturday Chelsea play West Brom. Leeds play Sheffield United. Leicester meet Manchester City and Arsenal play Liverpool. On Sunday Southampton play Burnley. Newcastle face Spurs. Aston Villa play Fulham and Manchester United play Brighton. Everton play Crystal Palace and Wolves face West Ham on Monday.

Formula One – Daniel Ricciardo has backed changes being made to Australia’s Formula One circuit in an attempt to improve racing. Seven of the 16 corners at Melbourne’s Albert Park track are being modified for the race which has been rescheduled for the 21st November. The biggest change is the removal of the chicane at turns 9 and 10. Ricciardo says that it will make the racing closer.

Cricket – West Indies will try to force victory on the final day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at North Sound. At stumps on day four West Indies had declared their innings on 280–4. Sri Lanka had reached 29–0 when play was stopped for the day leaving them to make an unlikely 348 to win the match.

Rugby Union – The European Champions Cup is back in action this weekend. Tonight Leicester play Toulon and Gloucester host La Rochelle. On Saturday Wasps play Clermont Auvergne, Munster play Toulouse and Exeter host Lyon. And on Sunday Racing 92 play Edinburgh, Bordeaux host Bordeaux Begles and Scarlets play Sale.

Weather

Clear skies with light variable winds. Top temperature 16-18 degrees. Overnight lows of 12-13 degrees with cloudy skies.

The Easter weekend - Partially cloudy with the chance of some showers tomorrow afternoon. Highs  of 15-18 degrees.

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