French and Riviera News Thursday 5th March 2020


Coronavirus - The Department of Social Affairs and Health  in the Principality has confirmed that samples taken on Tuesday of suspected coronavirus are negative. Adding that at this stage, eight patients are awaiting test results.

Meanwhile 18 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, 10 in the Alpes Maritimes and so far, none in the Var.

In a press release published on Wednesday evening, the ARS (Regional Health Agency) Paca has announced that the inter-communal hospital center of Toulon-La Seyne, along with the Public Assistance of Marseille hospitals and the Nice University Hospital Center (CHU) is now able to carry out testing for the virus.

French President Emmanuel Macron will this afternoon, bring together at the Elysée the main players in public and private research engaged in the fight against the coronavirus. Thirty doctors, scientists and laboratory managers are expected at 4 p.m. to meet with the president and the ministers of Health Olivier Véran and Research Frédérique Vidal. The objective is "to make a collective point on financing and solutions" to battle the crisis as quickly as possible.

On a national level 285 cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Wednesday, 73 more than the day before. 15 of the 285 cases are in intensive care. 172 are part of a chain of transmission or of a grouping of cases, 52 have returned from abroad where the virus is circulating and 65 are without identified exposure.

Thirteen regions are affected. The largest focus of grouped cases remains in Oise, which has 99 cases. In this department, the "zero patient" in L’Oise, who would explain the origin of the contamination, has still not been identified, according to France’s health Ministry.

Football match confirmed - It’s been confirmed that the local football derby, OGC Nice against AS Monaco, will go ahead as planned on Saturday evening without any restrictions.

Air France - Air France has announced that passengers will be able to postpone or cancel certain flights free of charge or in return for a credit voucher. If you’re affected, you should contact the airline for full information. Details are available at

Italian government close schools - Reports on Wednesday said that the Italian government is to close all schools and universities nationwide for two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Italian government later confirmed the reports, saying that educational establishments will be closed until the 15th of March.

Power cut - 1,800 customers have been without electricity in Nice following a power cut. The power supply from Enedis was interrupted on Wednesday afternoon in the area around Avenue Jean-Médecin affecting households and many businesses.

According to Enedis, two power cables were accidentally torn off during works which were being carried out in the area. Technical teams were on site while for around 600 clients the power was restored by 5pm up to 1,240 had to wait until 9pm.

Mobile home destroyed in fire on campsite - A mobile home has been destroyed in a fire. The blaze broke out at a campsite Villeneuve-Loubet on Wednesday.

About fifteen firefighters intervened at around 7.45pm at the Riviera campsite, allée du Parc, near the Vaugrenier park. The origin of the fire is currently unknown. There were no injuries. The city council confirmed that “a man, along with another family were relocated to a hotel”.

Forum for job seekers - Espace 3000 is set to take place on Friday 6th March in Hyéres in the Var. If you’re looking for seasonal to year-round jobs, more than 700 positions will be on offered to job seekers by local companies who are recruiting.

Organized by Pôle Emploi and the city of Hyères, the event will welcome 84 companies looking for a wide variety of profiles. In 2019, 698 people were hired in the six months following the forum.


Fillon trial - The trial of François and Penelope Fillon begins its sixth day of hearing today. The defense will question them on their "evidence", after having studied on Wednesday the question of the fictitious employment of Penelope Fillon with Marc Joulaud, the former deputy of François Fillon in the National Assembly.

Five young French citizens call on Greta Thunberg - Five young French citizens of the Citizens' Climate Convention have called on Greta Thunberg to "increase the pressure" on the French government.

As the next session of the Citizen Climate Convention, approaches being held on Friday March 6, five young members of the convention have signed a forum published today asking the climate activist to “make the French government face the emergency climate situation”. In the publication called "Letter to Greta Thunberg", they ask for the 16-year-old Swedish girl to attend a meeting in France in order to obtain her support and to get the French government to take the necessary measures. "

France is the European champion of gender equality in large companies - According to a study published and carried out by Equileap, France is the European champion of gender equality in large companies.

While according to the report “there is still a lot to do” in terms of combating inequalities between men and women, French CAC 40 companies are doing better than their European counterparts. In the general classification, France, scores 52 points out of 100, and is ahead of Sweden with (49), Spain (46), Germany (44) and Italy (42).

This study was carried out by Equileap in 255 companies and ten European countries. Among the criteria examined are the number of women on the board of directors, wage differences, recruitment strategies and even the parental leave policy.

In Europe, only one in ten companies has a strategy to reduce the pay gap. In France, it is four out of ten companies.


Markets in Asia have rallied for a fourth straight session today after a sharp upturn on Wall Street on Wednesday.

Investors have welcomed another dose of stimulus from central banks  while US markets were encouraged by the performance of Joe Biden in the Super Tuesday Democratic primaries.Mr Biden is seen as less likely to raise taxes and impose fresh financial regulations than his further to the left rival for the Democrat nomination Senator Bernie Sanders.

Meanwhile ,the US House of Representatives has approved 8.3 billion dollars in funding to combat the spread of coronavirus and has sent the emergency legislation to the Senate.

The upbeat market sentiment comes despite the coronavirus crisis showing no signs of slowing with mounting numbers of deaths around the world.

Italy has announced its closing all its schools as a precaution while California has declared a state of emergency as cases grow.


The budget airline Flybe has collapsed into administration with the coronavirus proving to be the final straw in the firm’s recent troubled history.

Thousands of jobs are at risk after a bid from the airline for fresh financial support failed.

Flybe is now advising passengers not to travel to the airport unless they’ve arranged an alternative flight.

The firm narrowly avoided going bust in January and had been hoping for a 100 million pound government lifeline as well as changes to passenger Air Duty taxes.

Flybe was bought by a consortium including Virgin Atlantic last year and had been promised that the new owners would pump 30 million pounds into the business coupled with government aid that has failed to materialise.

The regional airline market is described as extremely challenging but experts say that Flybe made matters worse for itself through overambitious expansion.


And-The Danish toy giant Lego has said that it has confidence in physical stores after announcing that it plans to open 150 branded outlets around the world this year.

The firm’s chief executive Niels Christiansen says that he wants customers to “get their hands on bricks and be part of the brand”.

Lego estimates that the toy market shrank by 3 percent last year  but that it saw power in customers getting their hands on the product.

The company currently has 570 stores worldwide but has traditionally sold its goods through third party retailers.

Lego reported sales of 5.7 billion dollars on Wednesday with net profit for 2019 climbing by 3 percent.


Football-There were 3 fifth round ties in the FA Cup in England last night.

The Premier League’s bottom side Norwich caused an upset by beating Spurs on penalties 3-2 after the scores were tied at 1-1 after extra time.The holders Manchester City were 1-0 winners at Sheffield Wednesday and Leicester beat Birmingham 1-0.

The final 5th round tie is being played tonight.Derby host Manchester United.

In the Scottish Premiership last night Kilmarnock and Aberdeen drew 2-2.Livingston held the leaders Celtic to a 2-2 draw.Motherwell beat Ross County 4-1.Rangers lost 1-0 at home to Hamilton and St Mirren and St Johnstone drew 0-0.

Rugby Union-The 6 Nations game between Italy and England will be played behind closed doors as the Italian government attempts to restrict the spread of the coronavirus.

Italy is the worst affected country in Europe with more than 3,000 cases and more than 100 deaths.

All sport in Italy will be played behind closed doors until the 3rd of April.

The Italy v England game is due to be played in Rome on the 15th of March.

Cricket-South Africa have beaten Australia by 6 wickets in the second one day international in Bloemfontein.

Australia won the toss and were bowled out for 271 before South Africa got to the target in a total of 274-4 from 48.3 overs.

Boxing-Eddie Hearn says that he’s ready to conclude a deal for a heavyweight unification fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury in December.

The two British boxers hold all four heavyweight belts between them but both face other fights before a big showdown can take place.

Hearn said that there is no reason why a deal can’t be put in place now for the fight. He said that only the broadcasters and the venue for the fight remained to be decided.


Cloudy with outbreaks of rain and light to moderate easterly winds.

Top temperature 13 degrees.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Partially cloudy with highs of 15-16 degrees.
















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