French schools to close - French schools will close for at least three weeks as part of new national restrictions to fight rising Covid cases. On Wednesday March 31st, French President Emmanuel Macron said that schools would move to remote learning from next week. Lockdown measures, introduced in some areas of France earlier this month, are also being extended to other districts.
All non-essential shops are to close from Saturday and there will be a ban on travelling more than 10km from home without a good reason. The country is facing a peak of over 5,000 people in intensive care.
On Wednesday, France’s Health Minister Olivier Veran reported 59,038 new cases. France has so far reported more than 4.6 million cases of coronavirus and 95,495 Covid-related deaths.
French Prime Minister defends Macron’s announcement giving details in parliament on certain measures - French Prime Minister Jean Castex has spoken before the French parliament this morning, defending the measures announced by French President Emmanuel Macron and specifying certain measures put in place.
Number of closed businesses in France to increase from 90,000 to 150,000 due to extension of restrictions across France - According to France’s Minister of Finance Bruno le Maire, the extension of the closures of certain businesses in the whole of France announced on Wednesday March 31st by Emmanuel Macron, will increase the number of closed businesses from 90,000 to 150,000, while the total cost of aid and compensation to businesses will now amount to 11 billion euros per month. This figure includes the total cost of the solidarity fund, partial unemployment and exemptions from social contributions, including for establishments that remain open, but are strongly affected by the crisis linked to Covid-19.
The government has repeatedly adjusted the system of partial compensation for loss of turnover by the solidarity fund, and this year added partial coverage of fixed costs. The Head of State is also considering the possibility of allowing traders to liquidate their stocks outside the sales period and financial compensation for unsold stocks. Partial activity allows the employee who is not working to receive 84% of his net salary, the employer having a remaining charge of 15%, except in the sectors most affected by the crisis.
Health situation in the Alpes Maritimes - The Regional Health Agency (Public Health France) for the Alpes Maritimes has reported 4 new hospital deaths linked to Covid-19 on Wednesday, March 31. Since the start of the epidemic, the coronavirus has killed 1,783 people (443 in nursing homes, 1,310 in hospitals).
On March 31st, the number of patients hospitalised stood at 325.133 patients are in intensive care which is a new record for the region. According to Public Health France, the incidence rate which has continued to increase over the last ten days stands at 473 for the period from March 1 to March 7th.
Monaco – Six new cases of Covid have been reported in Monaco on Wednesday bringing the total number of residents affected to 2,288. 25 people are currently in hospital and 84 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.
In other news
Fire in villa - Two people have died in a fire in a villa. The fire broke out this morning in Cuers in the Var. Two other individuals were rescued by firefighters. The cause of the blaze is at this point not known. An investigation has been opened.
Drug trafficking network - After several months of investigation police in the Bouches du Rhone have dismantled a major drug trafficking network with eastern European countries. 70 kilos of cocaine and more than three million euros were seized in the Tarascon region of the Bouches-du-Rhône. 10 suspects have been arrested and taken into police custody.
Strike action - Public transport is expected to be disrupted in the region tomorrow Friday 2nd April due to nationwide strike action. There will be no trams operating in Nice and many bus routes of the Lignes d’Azur network will be disrupted. Some bus services in Antibes and Sophia Antipolis are also expected to be affected.
New research has revealed that more than 700,000 Brits cheat on their partner once a year “as a treat”. The data was collected by GrandNational.org.uk and looked at the pastimes we indulge in annually.
2% of those surveyed admitted to cheating on their spouse every year. It was respondents from Belfast that were the most likely to be disloyal with 7% saying they cheat followed by 6% from Southampton and 5% from Bristol.
Other risky treats included skiving off work and spending a whole day naked, with 3% of respondents admitting to doing either one on an annual basis.
When it came to things we avoid doing more than once a year, 4% claimed they only saw their in-laws for one day in 365.
Various housework tasks dominate the list of activities people try to avoid most, but health and fitness also appears low on Brits’ agendas – over one in 10 Brits avoid exercising more than once per year.