French and Riviera News Tuesday 25th August 2020

Local

German authorities have placed the Ile-de-France and the PACA region on high risk for Covid-19 - Germany has placed the Ile-de-France and the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur regions as risk zones concerning the high number of Covid-19 cases.

Travellers returning from both regions will have to undergo a screening test for Covid-19 and observe a two-week quarantine period.

Following the United Kingdom, which now imposes a 14-day quarantine on people arriving from France, Germany has placed the Ile-de-France regions, with Paris, and Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur as risk zones.

Germany’s Foreign Affairs ministry warns on its website against "non-essential, tourist travel”.

Alpes Mariitmes health agency concerned about number of Covid-19 cases – Meanwhile the regional health agency in the Alpes Maritimes announced its concern for the health situation in the region after two deaths and 13 clusters were declared on Monday 24 August. There is also concern for the number of new cases with 8 people recently hospitalized in the Alpes-Maritimes in intensive care units, following several weeks of no admissions.

Health authorities warn of an increase of Covid-19 in Marseille – In Marseille health authorities have also warned of an increase in the number of coronavirus cases with several new measures planned.

The Bouches-du-Rhône department has been classified as an "active Covid-19 zone" with “the circulation of the virus intensifying, especially among young people”. The French health minister has said that “it’s difficult to contain Covid-19 to just a few generations, and the region has seen “for three weeks that positive tests have been increasing among seniors,"

The prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône plans to announce new measures which could include the closure of some indoor places, the closure of bars after 8pm and even a limitation on travel.

Monaco coronavirus – And here in the Principality three new cases of Covid-19 have been declared on Monday 24th August.

To comply with the practices adopted by the World Health Organization and neighboring countries the daily report now only reports on residents affected by the coronavirus.

To date 115 people have been affected by the coronavirus in Monaco. A total of 3 people, including 1 resident, have been hospitalised. The resident is in intensive care.

26 people are currently being followed by the Home Monitoring Center which medically supports patients, with few symptoms, invited to self-isolate at home.

Wastewater to be tested in Monaco - Meanwhile the Monegasque government has announced plans to test the wastewater in the Principality for coronavirus. Paris had carried out similar tests after reports of possible detection of the virus in the capital’s wastewater.

Coronavirus France – However, on a national level France's Directorate General of health has announced a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases. While Sunday saw France record its highest number of daily cases since the end of lockdown with 4,987 cases. Monday 24th August, France recorded 1,995 daily cases a figure sharply down compared to Sunday.

In its press release the DGS however underlined that the circulation of the virus is increasing strongly, more intense in young adults calling for the respect of barrier gestures and testing.

The total number of deaths due to Covid-19 in France stood at 30,528 on Monday, or 15 more deaths than the day before in hospitals.

Data concerning care homes will be updated today.

The DGS specifies that the number of hospitalizations linked to the epidemic has decreased a little, to stand at 4,690 patients, compared to 4,709 on Sunday. The number of serious cases in intensive care is on the other hand slightly increasing, to 399 compared to 383 on Sunday.

Four regions account for 68% of patients in intensive care: Ile-de-France, Grand Est, Hauts-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d´Azur.

In other news

Fire - A major fire in the Bouches-du-Rhône is said to still be very active. 1,300 firefighters are fighting the flames.

The blaze which broke out 50kms west of Marseille at around 2pm on Monday had already destroyed some 500 hectares of vegetation by 11pm on Monday evening.

Six firefighters have been slightly injured as have two residents. The fire fanned by a strong wind led to many being evacuated from their homes as gymnasiums were open to accommodate them.

The region had already suffered significant loss of forest land at the beginning of the month when a fire destroyed more than 1,000 hectares which led to several hundred people being evacuated by sea.

24-year-old dies from injuries after road accident on the Croisette - A 24-year-old has died following a road accident on the Croisette in Cannes. The young man who was seriously injured in the accident on Saturday morning died of his injuries on Sunday evening at the Pasteur hospital in Nice.

The victim was at the time riding a scooter when he was hit by a van which failed to stop, dragging him over 200 metres according to eye-witnesses. Both the driver and passenger fled the scene and were later stopped by police and placed in police custody.

Nice tramway to be extended to Drap - The Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolis has announced that line 1 of the tramway is to be extended to Drap by 2026.

The line would be extended passing through L’Ariane before joining La Trinité then Drap. The demand for the extension has been for years, claimed by the 43,000 inhabitants of the Paillon valley. An increasingly urbanized valley where there are daily traffic jams at rush hour and it is not uncommon for motorists to get stuck in their car for an hour, or more.

Sénéquier in Saint Tropez reopens its doors - The famous Sénéquier cafe in Saint Tropez is to reopen its doors today two weeks after its closure due to two cases of Covid-19 among its staff.

On Wednesday, August 13, the Sénéquier decided to close the establishment following the discovery of 2 cases of coronavirus

An emblematic institution of Saint-Tropez since 1887. The Sénéquier was made famous by Brigitte Bardot in the mid-1950s when she regularly dined there during the filming of "And God Created Woman". Matisse, Picasso, Kate Moss, Vanessa Paradis, as well as the former President of the Republic, Jacques Chirac have all been regular visitors to the café located on the port.

Could court’s decision set a precedent for businesses - Finally, could a court’s decision set a precedent? On Monday 24th August, the Tarascon commercial court in the Bouches du Rhône ruled that Axa must pay 114,105 euros in compensation to a restaurant owner for operating loses between March and May due to Covid-19.

In a copy of the judgement obtained by the France Press Agency. The Tarascon commercial court considers that the exclusion of warranties is “deemed nugatory”  in the contract signed between Axa and the restaurant.

The lawyer of the restaurant owner said "This is a significant step forward in the direction of the assumption by insurers of losses suffered by businesses during the lockdown period" in the face of Covid-19.

Several restaurant customers of Axa have sued the insurer, accusing them of refusing to compensate their operating losses due to lockdown but, until now they were rejected.

Business

The French subsidiary of Facebook has agreed to pay 106 million euros in tax adjustment for the years 2009-2018. The announcement comes following an in-depth tax audit.

France, which pleads for an overhaul of the taxation of digital multinationals, believes that large groups like Facebook, Google or Apple pay too little tax in relation to the income and profits they earn.

A Facebook spokesperson gave no details on the terms of the agreement with the tax authorities. A Facebook spokesperson, however, clarified that the company had decided since 2019 to include advertising revenue from French advertisers in the accounts of the local subsidiary.

And - The Chinese video-sharing application TikTok has confirmed that it will file a complaint against the US government, after a decree from Donald Trump, accusing him of spying on behalf of Beijing.

The American president intends to ban shortly any transaction of TikTok with American partners. Without tangible proof, the American president has accused the video-sharing platform for months of siphoning off data from American users for the benefit of Beijing. At the beginning of August, he banned the application from any transaction with American partners within 45 days.

Sport

Cricket - England's push for victory and James Anderson's quest for a 600th Test wicket were obstructed by the weather and Pakistan's stubborn resistance on day four of the final Test at Southampton.

They could be aided by the rain that is forecast for today after more than three hours were lost on Monday afternoon and bad light forced an early close.

Football - Manager Gareth Southgate will name his first England squad of 2020 today for next month's Nations League fixtures against Iceland and Denmark.

Rugby Union - Legendary former Bristol winger Mike Ellery has died at the age of 87. Having made his debut against Swansea in 1954, Ellery played for the club for 12 years before his final game in 1966.

One of the greatest players in Bristol's history, Ellery scored 251 tries in 347 appearances, including a club-record 44 tries during the 1961-62 campaign.

Tennis - Britain's Andy Murray earned his first win against a top-10 player since 2017 by beating Germany's Alexander Zverev at the Western and Southern Open.

The 33-year-old Scot, playing his first top-level tournament since November after injury, won 6-3 3-6 7-5 against the world number seven to reach the third round in New York.

Athletics - Jamaican former sprinter and eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt is awaiting results of a recent coronavirus test while self-isolating.

34-year-old Bolt revealed that he will "stay at home" as a precaution despite not having any symptoms.

Weather

Sunny with highs of 28 degrees in Monaco, Nice, Cannes and Antibes. Highs of 31 degrees in La Croix Valmer in the Var. With a light variable wind.

This evening going down to 21 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 18 degrees in the Var.

The outlook for Wednesday and Thursday remaining much the same with highs of 34 degrees.

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