French and Riviera News Tuesday 1st June 2021

News

Alpes Maritimes reports lowest covid incidence rate in France - Latest local figures for covid have shown that the Alpes Maritimes has the lowest incidence rate in France. Figures from Public Health France on Monday May 31st saw the incidence rate continue to fall dropping to just under 30 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Member of scientific council predicts “calm summer” - Meanwhile a senior member of the Institute Pasteur has said that France is on track for a “calm summer” and will avoid a fourth wave of covid if the health situation continues to improve over the next ten days. In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche Professor Arnaud Fontanet, member of government’s scientific council, said he was optimistic about the months ahead and the lead up to June 9th which marks the next stage in the progressive end to lockdown.

Pfizer vaccine approved for 12 to 15-year olds - The Pfizer vaccine has been authorised by the European Medicines Agency for children aged 12 to 15, making it the first vaccine for this age group in the EU. In France, only 16 and 17-year olds with serious health conditions are eligible to be vaccinated against covid with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

In other news

Manhunt ends - Police in south-western France have shot and wounded an armed ex-soldier following a 24-hour manhunt. The man, named by police as 29-year-old Terry Dupin, had fled to a forest after shooting at officers on Saturday, sparking a massive search. He was wounded during a shoot-out with a special forces squad, and has been taken into custody.

Beginning of the month changes - As at the beginning of every month, new regulations and price changes are to come into force in France. There will be an increase in regulated gas prices by Engie of 4.4% and June 1st marks the end of the winter break for rental evictions. Today is also the last day to complete your tax return online for French departments from 20 to 49 and June 9th for departments 55 to 95 and overseas.

Restrictions on travel to France from the UK - France has begun restricting non-essential travel from the UK due to concerns over the spread of the Indian covid variant. Monday May 31st saw the beginning of new regulations for all air, car, ferry and train passengers travelling from Britain to France. Entry is permitted for EU nationals, French residents or people travelling for “compelling reasons”. Those permitted to travel must take a pre-departure PCR Covid test if aged 11 or over and must also agree to quarantine for seven days on arrival in France.

Heatwave - According to Meteo France a heatwave is on its way with the French capital expected to experience 30 degrees today. Nantes and Dijon will also see temperatures rise to between 28 and 29 degrees. The high temperatures will however bring storms from tomorrow afternoon with the warm weather returning by Thursday.

I Love You, Moi Non-Plus - Winners of the, I Love You, Moi Non-Plus, amateur artist competition have gone on display in Paris. The cross-channel competition drew more than 400 submissions including paintings, illustrations, photography, music and writing aimed at exploring the new British French relationship. Twenty works were chosen for the exhibition.

The competition title, I Love You, Moi Non-Plus was inspired by Serge Gainsbourg’s 1969 hit with Jane Birkin, Je T’Aime … Moi Non-Plus.

Business

Asian factory activity continued to expand in May thanks to an ongoing recovery in global demand. China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace this year in May on solid demand at home and overseas. However, sharp rises in input prices and strains in supply chains hampered production at some firms. Japan and South Korea saw expansion in factory activity moderate in May as the spread of new variants of COVID-19 had a negative impact on supply chains. A spike in COVID-19 infections in countries like Taiwan and Vietnam could disrupt semiconductor output and supply chains which would pose a problem for manufacturers and weigh on Asia’s export-driven recovery.

Meanwhile, a global chip shortage and supply chain disruption is hitting car production and had caused Japan’s output growth to miss forecasts. The price of Tesla vehicles is increasing due to supply chain pressures across the car industry. In May, Tesla increased its model 3 and model Y prices, the  fifth incremental price increase for its vehicles in just a few months. In April Elon Musk said that Tesla had experienced some of the most difficult supply chain challenges and in particular a shortage of chips. Some new Tesla models are also missing features which the firm says is also a result of supply chain problems.

Kraft Heinz has said that it plans to invest more than £140 million in its food manufacturing facility in Northwest England over the next four years. The investment would be the company’s biggest expansion of an existing manufacturing site outside the United States in more than 20 years. The plans for the Kitt Green plant near Manchester would be aimed at adding production of ketchup, mayonnaise and salad cream. The money will also fund equipment and technology and create up to 50 new full-time jobs. The plant will continue making Heinz soups and pasta. It already produces 1.3 billion cans of food per year. The investment is subject to US approval.

Sport

Tennis – The world number 2 Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open after refusing to speak to the media. Osaka said that she had suffered “long bouts of depression “since winning her first Grand Slam in 2018. The Japanese star said that she will take some time away from the game but hopes to return when the time is right.

On the court there was a first round win for defending champion Iga Swiatek who beat Kaja Juvan 6–0 7–5. Serena Williams also won her first round game against Irina Camelia Begu 7-6 6-2.

In the men’s event Roger Federer was looking good as he beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan in straight sets and second seed Daniil Medvedev moved through with a 6-3 6-3 7-5 win over Alexander Bublik. Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie is also through after beating Bjorn Fratangelo in straight sets.

Football – Sergio Aguero has joined Barcelona on a two year deal. The 32-year-old Argentine is leaving Manchester City after 10 years at the club during which he became their all-time leading goalscorer with 260 goals in 390 games. Sergio Aguero said that Barcelona are the best club in the world and that it is a step forward in his career.

Cricket – The former England captain Michael Vaughan says that the best team should be picked for the Test series against New Zealand and big stars should not be rested. England are missing some of their best players including Ben Stokes who is recovering from a broken finger and Jofra Archer who’s had elbow surgery. Some players are also being rested after having returned from the abandoned Indian Premier League. The first Test starts at Lord’s tomorrow.

Weather

Partially cloudy in coastal areas, some showers inland and light variable winds. Top temperature 22 degrees. Overnight lows of 15-18 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Wednesday and Thursday - Partially cloudy tomorrow, fine on Thursday. Highs of 21-24 degrees.

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