Evening Update Wednesday 19 August 2020

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has been holding a press conference this afternoon with Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France. Although mostly concerned with the organization of the Tour, the Mayor also touched upon the mandatory wearing of masks. He said that he had asked the Prefect that the decree concerning the wearing of masks be extended throughout the city and that he "intended to enforce it tonight". As regards the Tour de France, he said that riders would undergo two coronavirus tests before the start of the event. He also described detailed plans for a spectator area for 1,750 people with chairs fixed in place to ensure social distancing.

The French minister for small and medium sized businesses has said that if employees refuse to wear a mask at work, they may be subject to disciplinary action by their employer, including dismissal. Alain Griset said that the usual disciplinary processes must, however, be followed. The minister was speaking on television today after the French government confirmed yesterday that employees must wear masks at work from 1 September, with the exception of individual offices containing one person. Further clarification on the application of the rules in certain work situations is expected in the coming days. According to Sante Publique France, 24% of coronavirus outbreaks are in businesses.

Twenty-two people have gone into 14 day quarantine after a coronavirus outbreak in Isola2000. A tourist who was at a private party last Thursday in the resort tested positive for the virus. According to the local mayor, 22 contacts of the person were all traced, have gone into quarantine and will be tested again tomorrow.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has asked the Prefect of the Alpes Maritime to order the closure of five bars in Nice old town. The bars have received a final administrative warning from the Prefecture after checks on the enforcement of barrier measures were made last weekend. The Mayor has already written to French Prime Minister Jean Castex asking to be given the power, on an exceptional basis, to close establishments for 48 to 72 hours in which repeated breaches of sanitary rules have been observed.

The wearing of masks will become mandatory throughout the entire city of Toulouse from this Friday, August 21. The rule will apply from 7am to 3am every day, according to the Prefect who made the announcement earlier today. Toulouse will be the first major French city to make the wearing of a mask mandatory all day in all areas of the city.

A truck carrying hazardous materials was involved in a head-on collision with a car this morning in Flayosc in the Var. A chemical risk team attended the scene but no leaks from the vehicle occured. One of the occupants of the car which was involved in the collision on the route de Lorgues was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Access to the Gorges de Verdon has reopened today. The area had been closed yesterday because of high winds.

 

BUSINESS

Inflation in the UK has risen to its highest level since before lockdown began. The Office for National Statistics said that the Consumer Prices Index rose to 1.0% in July from 0.6% in June. Increases in the price of clothing, footwear, furniture, household goods and transport were  the largest drivers of the increase, with the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages falling.

New data from EU statistics agency Eurostat shows that consumer prices in the Eurozone rose 0.4% in July compared to the same period last year. Inflation across the EU for the month stood at 0.9% but varied widely across member states, with Hungary recording 3.9% and Greece recording minus 2.1%.

UK music brand NME is launching a website in Asia. The company says it will initially focus on Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. Last year it  entered the Australian market and also recently restarted physical publishing with a monthly magazine in Australia, which is its only current regular print edition. NME can trace its history back to 1952 when it launched as New Musical Express, becoming the first British publication to publish a regular singles chart.

 

SPORT

Cycling...Chris Froome & Geraint Thomas have been left out of the Tour de France squad by Team Ineos. Froome will, however, lead the team at the Vuelta a Espana in October and Thomas will do the same at the Giro d'Italia. Froome has already announced his intention to leave Team Ineos at the end of this season.

Football... Barcelona have named Ronald Koeman as their new head coach. Koeman will leave his position as the Netherlands national team coach. He's signed a two year deal with Barcelona where he was a player for six years.

Motorsports... All ten teams have announced their intention to sign up to the new Formula 1 Concorde Agreement which will govern the commercial terms of the sport from 2021 to 2025. Ferrari, McLaren and Williams had announced their support of the revised terms yesterday and the other seven constructors have now also confirmed their support.

Cricket... Reports say that the ECB is considering changing the start times of the England against Pakistan Third Test. Earlier start times are apparently being considered as a way to make up time lost to bad weather and poor light. England head coach Chris Silverwood has said that he would support earlier starts. The Third test is due to start in Southampton on Friday.

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