French and Riviera News Wednesday 14th April 2021

News

French President to hold meeting on the gradual reopening of closed establishments - French President Emmanuel Macron is to chair a meeting on Thursday April 15th at 6pm at the Elysee Palace to discuss the protocols for the gradual reopening of establishments, closed due to the health crisis. The meeting comes fifteen days after the last address by the Head of State during which he evoked a possible return to normal life in mid-May.

Several ministers will be present at the meeting including, Prime Minister Jean Castex, Health Minister Olivier Véran, Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer and Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin amongst others.

On March 16th, the French government proposed a plan to reopen restaurants in phases. The implementation of this plan remains subject to two indicators; the number of daily Covid cases and the number of people vaccinated.

The first phase concerns hotels and hotel restaurants. The second concerns the opening of terraces, cafes and restaurants. At the beginning of April, the President of the Republic had also mentioned the establishment "between mid-May and the beginning of summer, of a calendar of gradual reopening for culture, sport and events”.

French government accused of managing the crisis on a "day by day" basis - The meeting comes as the French government faces criticism for making decisions on a “day by day basis” especially concerning the sudden U-turn in cancelling, until further notice, all flights between France and Brazil on Tuesday April 13th. A move which many health professionals in France had been calling for due to the Brazilian variant.

National Assembly approves proposal from Prime Minister concerning regional and departmental elections in June - Meanwhile the National Assembly on Tuesday approved the proposal from French Prime Minister Jean Castex to postpone the regional and departmental elections by one week to June 20th and 27th. Confirmation is expected next week from the Senate.

Another setback in the vaccination campaign in France – Johnson & Johnson has decided to delay the rollout of its Covid-19 vaccine in Europe. In a statement the company said it was "aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots” who have received its vaccine. It said it has been reviewing these cases with European health authorities and had made the decision to "proactively delay the rollout" of its vaccine in Europe. France was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the vaccine to speed up its campaign after announcing on Monday 13th April, that vaccination was available to those over 55.

Covid figures in the Alpes Maritimes show a slight drop in the circulation of Covid - Despite seven deaths from Covid being reported in the Alpes Maritimes on Tuesday health officials say that the number of cases is slowly showing sign of decreasing. Since the start of the epidemic, Covid has killed 1,841 people in the Alpes Maritimes, 439 in nursing homes and 1,402 in hospitals.

While the number of patients in intensive care remains high and according to the Regional Health Agency there are currently 285 patients hospitalized for coronavirus, the incidence rate (which corresponds to the number of people tested positive over seven days and reported to 100,000 inhabitants) stands at 267 with is below both the regional average of 381 and the national average of 342.

One case of Covid declared in Monaco on Tuesday - In Monaco one case of Covid has been identified on Tuesday 13th April bringing the total number of residents affected since the beginning of the pandemic to 2,378. Twenty-four people are currently in hospital and 40 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

In other news

Kidnapping alert lifted - A kidnapping alert issued on Tuesday evening following the disappearance of an 8-year-old girl in the Vosges has been lifted. While the young girl has not yet been found police believe that she is with her mother who was not allowed to see her alone. The girl was kidnapped while in the care of her maternal grandmother. Anyone who may have any information is asked not to intervene but to contact the police on 0 800 36 32 68 or send an email to avertement@gendarmerie.interieur.gouv.fr

Disgraced former bodyguard of Emmanuel Macron to stand trial - French President Emmanuel Macron's disgraced former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla has been ordered to stand trial for assault, three years after he was caught on camera punching protesters while working for the presidency. The Benalla affair, as it is known in France, was the first major scandal of Macron's presidency, coming just a year after the centrist president's election on a promise to restore integrity to French public life.

Loggerhead turtle - A three-kilo Loggerhead turtle is being treated at the Cap d'Antibes Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Suffering from hypothermia the turtle was found in difficulty near Nice airport. Depending on test results Lorella, named after the boat which saved her, is expected to return to the open sea as soon as temperatures are a little warmer. The centre reminds the general public and fishermen that turtles can be rescued should one be seen in in difficulty by contacting 06.16.86.26.86.

Business

The ride-hailing and food delivery firm Grab, in South East Asia, is preparing to list shares in the US in a deal that values the firm at nearly £29bn. Shares will trade following a merger with US-listed Altimeter Growth Corp. Grab expects to raise more than $4bn via the transaction, which is expected to be completed by July. The listing would mark the largest US share offering to date by a South East Asian company.

Egypt has filed a multi-million-pound compensation claim against the owner of the container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week. The Ever Given, owned by Japanese firm Shoei Kisen, ran aground on 23rd March and was only freed six days later by a specialist rescue team.

Official figures in the UK have shown that exports to the EU partly rebounded in February after a record slump to start the year while the wider economy also returned to growth. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said goods sales to the bloc rose by £3.7bn, or 46.6%, having fallen by £5.7bn, or 42%,in January - though they were still well down compared with last year.

Sport

Sporting events adjust schedules as mark of respect for Prince Philip - The Premier League, EFL, Premiership Rugby, F1 and British Horseracing have adjusted their schedules "as a mark of respect" to avoid clashing with Saturday's funeral of Prince Philip.

The Duke of Edinburgh died at the age of 99 on Friday and his funeral will be held at St George's Chapel, Windsor, at 15:00 BST on Saturday, 17 April. A national minute's silence will be held at 15:00.

The Football Association recommends no games played between 14:45 and 16:15. In addition, a minute's silence should be observed before matches and black armbands worn. All flags at Wembley Stadium and St George's Park will also fly at half-mast.

Football – Despite being beaten 1-0 in last nights Champions League Paris St-Germain have held on to claim an away-goals victory over holders Bayern Munich that takes them through to the last four of the Champions League.

And Chelsea survived to overcome Porto and confirm a place in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in seven years.

Tonight’s Champion League quarter finals sees Borussia Dortmund play Manchester City and Liverpool face Real Madrid.

Tennis - Today Wednesday 14th April, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal make their entry at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters. World number 1 Novak Djokovic will have a difficult first match against Italy's Jannik Sinner, recent finalist in the Miami Masters 1000. While Rafael Nadal, 11 times winner in the Principality, should experience fewer difficulties against the Argentinian Federico Delbonis.

Weather

Cloudy with sunny intervals highs of 15-16 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Antibes with a gentle breeze. This evening going down 9 degrees with clear skies.

Clear skies and 17 degrees in Marseille, 16 degrees in Toulon and Saint Tropez. This evening going down to 5 degrees.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday and heading into the weekend, remaining rather unsettled with possible showers inland, sunny spells along the coast and highs of 15-17 degrees.

 

 

 

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