Lunchtime News Wednesday 30th June 2021

News

Delta variant - France’s health minister has revealed that the delta variant of covid now represents one fifth of cases in France, double last week’s estimate. While France is seeing an overall fall in cases, the highly infectious variant that originated in India is gradually becoming more dominant. Only 509 new confirmed cases were reported on Monday June 28th and the seven-day moving average of daily additional infections fell to 1,819, an almost 10-month low, compared to a peak of 42,225 on 14 April.

Final stage of end of lockdown - Meanwhile today marks the last stage in the end of lockdown in France with restrictions largely being lifted in places open to the public with bars, cafes and restaurants able to return to 100% capacity and it will also now be possible to stand at concerts and festivals.  

Vaccination campaign - As the French government tries to push the vaccination campaign in France which has slowed down considerably in recent weeks Professor Arnaud Fontanet of the Insitut Pasteur has affirmed that vaccination makes it a lot less likely to transmit covid speaking to French media this morning he said the “vaccination may allow to decrease the risk of transmitting covid from between 50 to 80%.

Open letter calling for inquiry in to origins of covid - French scientists have joined more than 30 international experts writing an open letter calling for a detailed inquiry into the origins of covid and are pleading for China to cooperate. They say without this a similar disaster could happen again. Published in Le Figaro the letter signed by 31 scientists calls for a “complete inquiry...if possible, with the participation of the Chinese government”.

New law - A new law passed on Tuesday after two years of debate will now allow lesbian couples and single women in France be given access to fertility procedures. Previously under French law, only heterosexual couples had the right to medical assistance for reproduction. The Inter-LGBT association said it welcomes the change.

Water shortage - The region’s water agency has said that the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur could lack around 35 million cubic meters of water this summer. The Paca region is regularly affected by episodes of drought and water shortages. The study shows that 2.9 billion cubic meters of water are consumed each year in the PACA region including 985 million for drinking water.

Sales – Today Wednesday June 30th,  marks the first day of the summer sales in France. The sales which had been postponed due to the health crisis will last four weeks from today.

Pianos to return to train stations - The SNCF has announced that pianos are to return to French train stations tomorrow, Thursday July 1st. Removed due to the pandemic the reintroduction will be celebrated with a nationwide event, seeing 50 stations in France hold a special concert on July 1st to celebrate the musical comeback.

 

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