French and Riviera News Monday 3rd May 2021

News

Lifting of lockdown - France will today begin to emerge from its “light lockdown” with the lifting of the 10km limit on travel, freedom of movement between regions and the return to class for College and Lycée students with 50% capacity.

The French government has outlined four stages to easing restrictions in place, due to the health crisis, on the condition that the local health situation allows, with the first stage being implemented today Monday 3rd May. The next three stages are planned for May 19th with the curfew moved from 7pm to 9pm, the reopening of shops, terraces and museums as well as sporting activities to resume. For June 9th the curfew will be from 11pm to 6am cafes, restaurants and gyms are set to reopen, cultural and sporting establishments will see their capacity increased to a limit of 5,000 with a health pass. And tourists with a health pass will be able to visit France. Finally, June the 30th will mark the end of the curfew, the end of a limit for the number of people welcomed in public places however, nightclubs will remain closed.

Certain conditions in order to follow the four-stage timetable - There are certain conditions in order to lift restrictions and French authorities will be able to activate 'emergency brakes' in areas where Covid is circulating at too high a rate. 

Those emergency brakes can be applied in any town or department that has recorded a 7-day incidence rate of more than 400 new cases per 100,000 people. A sudden jump in rates and intense pressure on local health services could also slow down the reopening.

At present, eight departments have an incidence rate above 400; Paris, several areas in the Ile-de-France region and the Bouches-du-Rhône which includes France's second-biggest city Marseille.

Warning from health experts - In response to the lifting of lockdown some health experts in France have warned that “it’s an irresponsible gamble that could see a fourth wave”.

Sailors in solitary confinement - Sixteen sailors are currently in solitary confinement in Le Havre after testing positive for Covid-19. Their oil tanker had been in India and French health authorities are carrying out tests to see if they are carriers of the Indian variant which has been identified in five cases in France so far.

Monaco reports no new cases of Covid - Latest figures released in Monaco show that no new cases of Covid were declared on Sunday. To date 2,457 residents have been affected by Covid since the start of the pandemic. Seven people are currently in hospital and 27 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

In other news

Two people injured after balcony gives way - Two people have been seriously injured after a balcony gave way at a house in Rouen. The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning. Four people fell several meters while attending the house party. An investigation has been launched by police to determine the exact cause of the incident.

Illegal party - Meanwhile police in Dijon intervened at the weekend after 300 people attended an illegal party. The alleged organiser has since been arrested. Between 300 and 350 revelers gathered in a disused hangar. 207 fines were issued, and police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Since the start of the pandemic in France and the ban on large gatherings, several illegal parties have already taken place across the country.

Strong winds - Strong winds in the region have caused a tree to fall on a parked car in Cagnes Sur Mer on Sunday. The incident occurred at around 4.30pm when a tree fell onto the car parked by the Rive du Loup park smashing the windscreen. Nobody was hurt in the incident.  

Cannes - Police in Cannes have arrested two individuals after they attempted to steal a Louis Vuitton bag from the back seat of a car. The incident happened early evening on Sunday near the port of Cannes after a car stopped at a red light. The two culprits were spotted by police as they tried to smash the window of the vehicle. They were later arrested.

The start of summer 2021 should be hotter and drier than normal - According to Météo France, the months of May, June and July will be warmer than usual in southern Europe. The next three months risk being hotter and drier than average. France can therefore expect high temperatures in the coming months. Not necessarily good news, since France is only just coming out of three very dry months February, March and April of this year correspond to one of the driest quarters since 1957.

The incredible journey of a young grey whale - From Morocco to Naples and Antibes to Bormes-les-Mimosas, the incredible journey of a young grey whale lost in the Mediterranean and spotted thousands of kilometers from its natural habitat in front of the port of Bormes-les-Mimosas in the Var. Nearly 7 meters in length it’s an extremely rare site for a species which is normally found in the Pacific Ocean.

Nicknamed Wally, the whale had been seen in recent weeks on the Italian coast and then on the Riviera and for the last time to date - in Bormes-les-Mimosas.

Chanel N°5 - The 5th of May will mark one hundred years since the iconic French perfume Chanel N°5 went on sale. Promoted by celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve and Nicole Kidman, the fragrance has kept its status as the modern woman’s classic accessory. Rumour has it that the number five was Chanel’s lucky number and she often released her twice-yearly collections on the 5th of the month. The official launch of Chanel N°5 took place in the rue Cambon boutique in Paris on 5 May, 1921.

Business

Asian markets have been quiet today as holidays in China and Japan curbed volumes and investors waited for a raft of results this week that should show the United States leading a global economic recovery.

A busy week for US economic data is expected to show resounding strength particularly for the ISM manufacturing survey and April payrolls.

Forecasts suggest that 978,000 jobs were created in April as consumers spent stimulus money and the economy opened up more.

Gains could raise speculation that the Federal Reserve could start tapering asset purchases although so far the signs are that the central bank will stay patient on policy.

Fed chair Jerome Powell is due to speak later today and other Fed officials will also speak during the week as conversations about tapering increase.

The long awaited trial between Epic Games and Apple gets underway today with regulators paying keen attention as they weigh up whether to pursue the iPhone maker for breaches of anti-trust legislation.

Epic says that  Apple is exercising  an unfair monopoly through its App Store and that developers are being discriminated against through the use of Apple’s in- app payment systems.

If successful, the lawsuit could affect the future of the App Store and the amounts that Apple charges developers.

The games’ developer says that firms should be able to make apps for smartphones without having to pay large sums to Apple  and also Google for its Google Play system.

Spotify ,Match and Tile are just some of the companies that have also claimed that Apple charges are  unfair.

The key question that the judge in the trial will have to answer is whether the App Store is an “essential facility”  that no one company should control completely.

The odds are stacked against Epic given Apple’s financial clout and its ability to afford the best lawyers.

And-The U.K.’s largest car park operator NCP has started court proceedings to help cut rents and contracts for unprofitable parking facilities.

NCP says that the coronavirus pandemic has had a deep impact on its business and revenues have dropped by 80%.

The firm, which is owned by Japan’s Park24 will see its funding withdrawn if restructuring is unsuccessful.

NCP says the court process is a last resort to safeguard the future of its business and 1,000 staff.

A withdrawal of funding from its owner could see NCP become insolvent.

The firm is trying to agree deals with landlords to reduce its rent burden on the 500 sites that it operates.

Sport

Formula One-Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory in Sunday’s Portugal Grand Prix as he held off the challenge of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton started second on the grid and was overtaken by Verstappen at a restart following an early safety car.

The seven time world champion then passed Verstappen four laps later and then hunted down his Mercedes team mate before moving on to control the race.

The victory gives Hamilton an eight point lead in the drivers’ championship ahead of the Versatappen.

Hamilton now has 97 career Grand Prix victories but Verstappen is certainly still in the race heading into the next Grand Prix which is in Spain next weekend.

Football – Sunday’s English Premier League game between Manchester United and Liverpool had to be postponed after some 200 fans broke into Old Trafford to protest over the Glazer family’s ownership of the club.

Police took the decision to postpone the game along with both clubs after two officers were injured during the protests.

It’s the first time a Premier League match has been postponed because of fan protests.

There were two other games on Sunday. Arsenal were 2-0 winners at Newcastle and Spurs thrashed relegated Sheffield United 4-0.

There are two games tonight. West Brom play Wolves and Burnley play West Ham.

In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday Rangers beat 10 man Celtic 4-1.

Rugby union – La Rochelle have reached their first ever European Cup final to set up an all French clash against Toulouse at Twickenham in three weeks time.

La Rochelle beat Leinster 32 - 23 and will now play to Toulouse in the final of the European Champions Cup on the  22nd of May.

Weather

Mainly fine with light to moderate south easterly winds.

Top temperature 19 degrees.

Overnight lows of 10-12 degrees with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Mainly fine with highs of 20-23 degrees.

And Finally 

Diners seeking a bottle of wine without breaking the bank have often looked to the second cheapest bottle on the list. This has led to the assumption that the second cheapest option would become the biggest rip off. But, a groundbreaking study by researchers has found the biggest ripoff lies somewhere in the middle, with the third cheapest bottle usually having the biggest markup.

The study also found drinking by the bottle only helps drinkers save about 7 per cent when compared with having the same amount glass by glass.

After putting 6,335 wines sold at 249 London restaurants through a price comparison site the researchers found the second cheapest wine had a lower markup on average than the four next most expensive options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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