French and Riviera News Monday 31st May 2021

News

Covid vaccination open to all adults in France as intensive care numbers drop to less than 3,000 - As France opens up vaccination to all adults today Monday May 31st, health authorities have reported less than 3,000 patients are in intensive care for the first time since January. 2,993 patients are currently in intensive care and 16,775 are in hospital including 199 admitted in the last 24 hours. 44 people have died in hospital in the last 24 hours and there were 8,541 new cases of covid reported on Sunday. More than 25 million people in France have received at least one injection of the vaccination, among which more than ten million people have received both injections.

Travel from the UK - From today Monday May 31st travellers from the UK coming to France will need to go into compulsory quarantine amid concerns over a coronavirus variant first detected in India that is circulating in Britain. Meanwhile according to a study by France’s Pasteur Institute the Pfizer vaccine is slightly less effective but appears to still protect against the more transmissible Indian variant of covid.

Test concert held in Paris - France’s capital has held a so-called “test concert” as an experiment to see how much France can return to normal amid an improving health situation. Saturday saw 5,000 people attend the Indochine concert in Paris, with all attendees having to wear a mask and give proof of a negative covid test. The event started at 5 pm in order to finish ahead of France's 9 pm curfew.

Health measures in Monaco - The Monaco government has published details of Covid-19 measures in force in the Principality from today Monday, 31st May. The curfew is in force from 11:00pm to 6am with certain exemptions. Restaurants are open for lunch and dinner service but only for Monaco nationals, residents, hotel guests in Monaco, those carrying out business in Monaco and family members living under the same roof, Monaco students, subscriber clubs and casinos players. Catering service can again be continuous between 3 pm and 7 pm. Evening service will be provided between 7 pm and 11 pm with a traffic exemption for customers until 11:15 pm. Bars and cafes have their opening hours extended to 6am to 8pm, with the same categories of customers allowed as for dining. Home meal delivery is authorized between 6 am and 11 pm. Theatres and casinos can once again welcome the public until 11 pm. Gatherings in public spaces is limited to 10 people and telecommuting remains mandatory until Sunday, June 13th inclusive. Full details of the measures can be found on the Monaco government's Covid-19 information website www.covid19.mc

One new case of covid has been reported in the Principality on Sunday May 30th, bringing the total number of residents affected since the start of the pandemic to 2,504. One resident is currently in hospital and three are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

In other news

Manhunt under way in the Dordogne region - A manhunt is still under way this morning in the Dordogne region for a heavily armed former soldier who opened fire on police. Helicopters, dog teams and more than 300 officers are searching for the man around the town of Le Lardin-Saint-Lazare. According to reports the unnamed man is around 30 years old, has a history of domestic violence, and is armed.  The local council has urged residents to stay indoors. France's Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has tweeted that the police and local authorities were using "all means" to protect the local population, adding that more than 300 officers are now actively involved in the search.

71-year-old dies after fatal fall in the “gorges du Camary” - A 71-year-old woman has died after a fatal fall in the “Gorges du Camary” in the Var. The accident occurred on Sunday afternoon near the town of Carcès. Emergency services declared the victim dead at the scene after a fall of nearly ten metres. Police have opened an investigation.

Motorist fined for driving too slowly - A motorist has been fined for driving too slowly. Police stopped the driver on the A75 motorway in the south of France because he was driving at just 48kph, in the fast lane. The car in question was also found to be a non-license vehicle which is not even allowed on motorways in France.

Business

The American tyre manufacturer Goodyear Tire and Rubber is facing accusations of unpaid wages, unlawful overtime and threats to workers at its Malaysian factory according to a report by Reuters. The report says that six current and former foreign workers and officials at Malaysia’s Labour Department say Goodyear made wrongful salary deductions, required excessive hours and denied workers full access to their passports. The Malaysian Labour Department confirmed it fined Goodyear last year for overworking and underpaying foreign employees. Foreign workers at the factory are claiming some $1.21 million in unpaid wages. Goodyear, one of the world’s largest tyre manufacturers has challenged rulings in the Malaysia’s High Court.A decision is expected on July 26th.

Gold is heading for its biggest monthly advance since July last year with inflation risks in focus ahead of key US jobs data that is due later this week. Some Federal Reserve officials have said that recent price pressures are to be expected as the economy reopens amid pent up demand and should be temporary. The PCE price index which the Fed uses for its inflation target rose to 3.6% last month, the biggest jump since 2008. The US non-farm payroll report which is scheduled for release on Friday may prove to be a pivotal moment for investors to assess whether the surprisingly lacklustre job gains seen last month are a temporary blip or the start of something more persistent. Bullion has erased its 2021 losses and has been one of the best performing metals in May amid signs of rising inflation and a potentially uneven economic recovery. Investor interest has also returned with hedge funds and other large speculators boosting their net long position in gold to the highest since early January. Holdings in bullion backed exchange traded funds have climbed in May following three straight months of declines.

The British Retail Consortium has warned that the country’s retail sector will result in a “Tsunami of closures” if the government does not extend a moratorium on aggressive debt enforcement. The BRC said that two thirds of British retailers have been told by landlords that they will be subject to legal measures to recover unpaid rent from July 1st when the moratorium ends. Many UK retailers deemed as non-essential had to close their stores during multiple COVID-19 lockdowns over the past 15 months and have accrued total rent debt of £2.9 billion. The pandemic has hammered the retail sector and industry data is showing that one in seven shops is already lying empty. The BRC survey found that 80% of tenants said that some landlords have given them less than a year to pay back rent arrears.

Sport

Tennis – World number two Naomi Osaka could face expulsion from the French Open and future Grand Slams if she continues to refuse to speak to the media. Osaka said last week that she will not give any news conferences during Roland Garros because she wants to