Evening Update Friday 31 July 2020

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has asked the Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes to make the wearing of masks mandatory on certain roads in Nice. Speaking in the session of the city council this morning, he said that he was requesting the Prefect to issue an order making masks compulsory from midnight on Monday, 3 August on public roads in certain sectors of Nice. The areas which would be concerned haven't yet been revealed. He said he intended to make such an order himself if it wasn't made by the Pefect.

Meteo France have a Yellow warning, which is level 2 out of their 4 levels, for hot conditions in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes. Temperatures tomorrow are expected to reach 30 on the coast of the Alpes Maritimes and 36 inland. In the Var tomorrow it's expected to be 30-34 on the coast and 39 degrees inland. Many other departments throughout France are also under alerts for intense heat. About 30 departments are on an Orange alert, which is level three out of the four levels. Temperatures of 36 to 40 have been experienced in most of the east of France today. Only the Atlantic coast appears to have avoided the most intense parts of the heatwave today, but temperatures there have still been between 25 and 30 degrees.

French health authorities have reminded the public to drink plenty of fluids to keep well hydrated but without getting you mask wet, to keep accomodation cool and well ventilated and to check on vulnerable people, especially the elderly, those with a chronic illness and pregnant women. A telephone helpline has been set up for information on the heat wave on 0800 06 66 66.

The Monaco government has announced new precautionary measures connected with the coronavirus pandemic. The wearing of masks is now required in queues, especially outside restaurants and sports venues. The government also announced PCR coronavirus testing for hotel guests coming from an area of risk, as determined by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, or arriving from a zone outside Europe. Those tourists will have two options - either to provide the result of a PCR test carried out within 72 hours before arrival in the Principality, or undergo an on-site test which may result in confinement. The government does not recommend Monaco residents to go to those risk areas and if they do go, the government said that it appeals to their sense of civic responsibility to declare themselves to the Monaco health services upon their return and take a test.

The Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, has written to the Prefect and the Regional Health Agency to call for police to patrol shops, bars and restaurants to enforce barrier measures. In the letter, he requested that mixed patrols consisting of national and municipal police be used in order to legally enter private establishments to enforce barrier measures as well as easing demands on the resources of the national police.

The French road monitor Bison Fute is forecasting another busy weekend on the roads as the summer holiday rush continues. Saturday has been classified as "black" in the direction of departures for the first time this summer. Delays are expected on major roads and around  towns and cities. Bison Fute called upon motorists to be "extremely careful" and to avoid driving during the hottest hours of the day tomorrow because of the heatwave affecting much of the country.

Three out of the nine forest massifs in the Var are classified as at extreme risk of fire today. The "extreme" level is the highest level of risk out of five risk levels. Three other massifs are at "severe" risk, which is the third highest level. A map of fire risks on the massifs is produced by the Prefecture of the Var each day and is available at the Prefecture's website http://www.var.gouv.fr

Meanwhile, a major forest fire in south-west France has been brought under control. About 165 hectares of vegitation were destroyed by the blaze in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department on the west coast, close to the Spanish border. 150 firefighters were involved in bringing the fire under control. Sixteen people suffered from the effects of smoke but nobody was seriously injured.

 

BUSINESS

The French economy contracted by 13.8% in the second quarter, according to French statistics agency INSEE. It said that the low point in economic activity had been in April, with a gradual recovery in May and June but economic activity was still well below normal. Meanwhile, new data shows that the Spanish economy contracted by 18.5% in the April to June quarter, which is its deepest recession in modern times. Economic contraction in the EU as a whole was 11.9%, which is the highest figure since records began.

IAG, which owns British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus has  said that it plans to raise €2.75 billion. The company reported a loss of €4.2 billion for the first half of the year. Passenger numbers fell 98% in the April to June period because of the pandemic. Chief Executive Willie Walsh said it would take until at least 2023 for passenger levels to recover.

Twitter has said that the hacking of celebrity Twitter accounts recently was caused by human error and a so-called "spear-phishing" attack on Twitter employees. Such attacks are designed to trick people into handing out information such as passwords. The accounts of well known figures including Bill Gates, Joe Biden and Kim Kardashian West were compromised in the attack.

 

SPORT

The UK government has said that spectators will not be allowed to attend several sporting events this weekend because of a spike in coronavirus cases. As part of a pilot programme, a limited number of fans were due to attend the first two days of two county cricket matches, as well as the World Snooker Championship and horse racing at Goodwood.

Cricket... The ECB has said that it doesn't believe England's first Test with Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester will be affected by the extra coronavirus restrictions in Greater Manchester announced by the UK government last night. The government has banned separate households from meeting each other indoors across the area, as well as several other areas of the UK. The openening match against Pakistan is next Wednesday, 5 August.

Motorsports.... It's the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend. Max Verstappen was fastest in first practice today, followed by Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll and Alexander Albon. Hamilton will be looking to extend his lead at the top of the driver’s championship on Sunday as he seeks a record-equaling 7th world title.

Football...Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has said that the league is looking at what he termed  "clinical passports" to help get fans back into stadiums to watch matches. Writing in The Times, he said that the Premier League is "willing to see how we can support the development of 'clinical passports' - an app-based system that looks at all symptoms and other Covid-19 contributing factors".

The Chief Executive of Liverpool is leaving the club. Peter Moore has been in the job for three years and will be replaced by Billy Hogan who is currently the club's managing director and chief commercial officer.

It’s the FA Cup final tomorrow with Arsenal playing Chelsea. The match at Wembley will take place behind closed doors and there will be no presentation ceremony. The match kicks off at 6.30pm our time.

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