A gradual economic recovery has begun across France today with the reopening of shops and some factories. French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said today that "We are entering a world that is new, in which we must learn to combine economic activity, work and the circulation of the virus". Minister of Labour, Muriel Penicaud said today that the government will gradually reduce partial unemployment. she said that currently 6 out of 10 jobs in the private sector are covered by short time working. She said that "the conditions for the recovery are there" and therefore there is not so much of a reason for the State to continue to pay "the full wages of 12 million employees in France."
The Alpes Maritimes has announced additional aid to support busineses in the department as they reopen after confinement. Up to 1,000 euros per business has been made available to help in the implementation of health protocols. Up to 3,500 euros per business is being made available to certain small hotels, restaurants and campsites to enable them to adapt their businesses. An extra 5 million euros is also being added to the department's fund for zero rate loans to businesses.
The Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes has authorised the reopening of beaches in Nice from this coming weekend for walking and individual sporting activities but no static activities. Swimming and walking are therefore allowed but not sunbathing. The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said that he was delighted with the agreement reached with the Prefect.
The Regional Health Agency has said this afternoon that five people in the Var have lost their lives today because of the coronavirus. Two people have died in the Alpes Maritimes. 202 people are still in hospital in the Alpes Maritimes and 219 in the Var. However, the number of people in intensive care because of the virus in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes has fallen to its lowest level since 25 March.
Classes have resumed in Monaco's high schools today. Health precautions are in place, including half-size classes, social distancing, one way entry and exit points, compulsory masks and no canteen facilities.
Passengers arriving from France will be exempt from forthcoming UK coronavirus quarantine measures announced by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday. No 10 confirmed a reciprocal deal with the French government meant restrictions would not apply to passengers from France. In a joint statement, the UK and French governments said they had agreed to "work together in taking forward appropriate border measures", saying "This co-operation is particularly necessary for the management of our common border." The statement added: "No quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France at this stage; any measures on either side would be taken in a concerted and reciprocal manner." A working group between the two governments is going to be set up to ensure consultation over the coming weeks.
In other news, a car has been carried away by floods in Grasse after the heavy rain affecting our region last night. Firefighters were called after the car became wedged under a bridge in the river to the south-east of Grasse. However, the car proved to be empty and no searches for passengers was deemed necessary.
Several streets in the centre of Frejus were without electicity last night and this morning because of a problem with a transformer. Electricity was cut at about 10.30 last night and it was hoped that services would resume sometime this afternoon.
There have been a variety of fundraising efforts over the past few weeks to support those in need, and Estate agent KW Riviera in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, which is part of the Keller Williams Group, is holding an innovative on-line event this Thursday. It's in support the association AIDE HUMANITAIRE SAPEURS POMPIERS 06 in Menton and Roquebrune Cap Martin. The special day involves all the Keller Williams agencies across France and is taking place on Facebook Live this Thusday, 14 May, from 8am to 8pm. KW Riviera will be live on Facebook from 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. when a Michelin-starred chef will make a Menton lemon soufflé and one of KWRiviera's agents will make a cocktail. To find out how to support the event go to the Keller Williams France Facebook page.
Willie Walsh, the Chief Executive of IAG has said that the company is reviewing its plan to restart flights in July after Boris Johnson's announcement regarding a 14 day quarantine period for travellers arriving in the UK. He also said that the company "isn't taking in any revenue" as its planes remain grounded and has "probably exhausted every avenue" at this stage to shore up its liquidity. He said that the company is embarking on a group-wide restructuring. He was speaking to MPs on the UK parliament's Transport Committee. IAG owns British Airways, Iberea and Aer Lingus.
Heathrow Airport has called on the UK government to "lay out a roadmap" for how borders can eventually be reopened and to take a lead in developing a Common International Standard for travel between low risk countries. Passenger numbers were down 97% in April with the airport supporting essential travel for just 200,000 people in the entire month – the same number it would typically serve in just one day. Many of those passengers were on board charted repatriation flights.
There's been a worse than expected fall in Italian Industrial production in the month of March. New figures show that production fell by 28% in the month. Production of transportation equipment fell by 50%.
Car sales in China have risen for the first time in 22 months. Sales in April rose by 4.4% compared to the previous year, according to figures from an industry association.
The UK government has announced that no professional sport will be staged in England until 1 June at the earliest. the measures apply even to events behind closed doors. A document released by the UK government states that reopening venues that attract large crowds such as sports stadiums "may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections".
Football... In Spain, the president of La Liga has said that he hopes the league will restart on 12 June. La Liga started testing players last week and plans to resume training and play matches behind closed doors. He said that national competitions would need to be completed by 31 July and European competitions finished in August.
City Football Group, Manchester City's parent company, has agreed a deal to buy Belgian club Lommel SK. The Group has stakes in teams playing in the United States, Japan, Australia and China, among others.
Horse Racing... Racing has resumed today at the Paris Longchamp racecourse. The sport has resumed behind closed doors after being suspended for almost eight weeks because of the pandemic.
Rugby Union.. New Zealand’s Super Rugby mini-series will begin on 13 June. After recent changes in restrictions, sport in New Zealand is able to resume in a "controlled and consistent" venue.
Netball.. The ANZ Premiership netball league in New Zealand has announced plans to resume on 19 June. Games will be played over a 10-week period at a single venue in Auckland.