French and Riviera News Wednesday 19th August 2020

Local

Coronavirus - In the latest report published by the regional health agency for the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region figures shows that the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has increased yet the number of people hospitalized has fallen.

1,137 people have tested positive this week in the PACA region notably due to the massive screening campaign which took place in the Var and the Bouches-du-Rhône. Both regions are classified as an "active zone" of circulation of the virus.

Currently, 16 people are in intensive care and among those hospitalized, four have died: three in Bouches-du-Rhône and one in Vaucluse.

Masks - Meanwhile the wearing of masks is set to become compulsory in all French businesses and associations, except in individual offices. The measures are expected to come into force on or before 1 September. The announcement was made by Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne on Tuesday. Borne said that masks will have to be worn in all workspaces that are enclosed and shared, except for individual offices where one person is present. The provision of masks will be the responsibility of the employer.

Firework displays cancelled - All firework displays have been cancelled across the Riviera. July saw several annual events such as the 14th July cancelled due to the health crisis and while officials hoped for an improvement it was confirmed on Tuesday that planned displays for August will not be going ahead.

Some restaurants and bars in Nice face closure - More than 620 fines have been issued to bars and restaurants in Nice at the weekend for failure to comply health measure in place due to Covid-19, five of them could face closure.

After a series of police checks this weekend several fines and final warnings have been issued.

Bol d’Or 2020 cancelled - Organiser’s of this year’s Bol d'Or 2020 in the Var have confirmed that the event has been cancelled due to the health crisis. The Bol d'Or is a motorcycle competition which takes place in the Var and this year’s 84th edition was due to be held from September 18 to 20.

Voile d’Antibes – Meanwhile organizers of the Voile d'Antibes have confirmed that the event will be going ahead from 16th September. The event had been rescheduled from June.

National

Investigation - French prosecutors have opened an investigation into alleged rape against a former deputy mayor of Paris after a man accused him of years of abuse.

A preliminary investigation against Christophe Girard was opened after the New York Times reported the allegations of Aniss Hmaid, that Girard had sexually abused him over nearly a decade after they met in Tunisia, when Hmaid was 15.

Business

A key US stock index has hit a new high despite ongoing worries about the sharp economic impact of the pandemic.

The S&P 500 inched higher on Tuesday to close about three points above its 19 February record. Other US indexes have also rebounded.

The Nasdaq hit another record after surpassing its prior high in June while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is within about 5% of its February record.

US banking giant Citigroup has asked a federal court to force hedge fund Brigade Capital to return $176m.

The money is part of the $900m the bank accidentally transferred to creditors of the struggling cosmetics company Revlon.

The bank says it meant to send Brigade just $1.5m to cover interest on a loan the hedge fund holds.

Citigroup blames the accidental over-payment on an "operational mistake".

Pizza Express has announced that it will shut 73 of its restaurants across Britain with the potential loss of 1,100 jobs in a bid to stay afloat in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.

The company, which currently has around 454 restaurants in the UK, said on Tuesday it has finalised a proposal to reduce its restaurant and rental costs via a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

The iconic UK music brand NME has launched in Asia, despite the entertainment industry being hit by the coronavirus.

NME says its new Singapore-based website will deliver a fresh approach to the Southeast Asian music scene.

The company says it will initially focus on Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines and has plans to rapidly expand in the region.

Sport

Football - Paris Saint- Germain have swept into the final of the Uefa Champions League following a 3-0 victory over RB Leipzig on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile Marseille’s opening match of the 2020/21 season against Saint-Etienne has been postponed after a fourth person at the club tested positive for coronavirus.

The match, due to take place at the Vélodrome on Friday evening was scheduled as the stand-alone first fixture of the new campaign season.

Formula One - Ferrari, McLaren and Williams have signed up to the new Concorde Agreement which will govern Formula 1 from 2021 to 2025.

The contract, which sets out the commercial terms of the sport, was first introduced in 1981.

The remaining teams have until the end of August to sign the deal if they wish to continue racing beyond 2020.

Rugby Union - South African Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux has said that the

The British and Irish Lions' tour of South Africa could be postponed if restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic mean international fans cannot attend.

In July, organisers said the tour would go ahead as scheduled, with the first Test on 24 July 2021. But Roux said it is not "commercially viable" if supporters cannot travel.

Weather

Sunny with highs of 29 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Antibes reaching 34 degrees in Saint Tropez in the Var with a light variable wind.

This evening going down to 21 degrees across the region with clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday temperatures remaining much the same with clear skies and sunshine.

 

 

 

 

 

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