French and Riviera news Friday 20th March 2020

Local

Two new cases reported in Monaco - The authorities in Monaco have announced two new cases of coronavirus in the Principality, one of which is His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco. 

The news reported Thursday evening brings the total number of cases in Monaco to 11.The necessary measures have been taken to contact anybody who may have been in contact with both Prince Albert and the other  patient.

The government reminds everybody to respect and take the necessary precautions in the fight against the spread of the virus. 

Prince Albert continues to work from the office of his private apartments. He is in permanent contact with the members of his cabinet and, his government.

the Palace said that his state of health is not a source of concern. 

His Serene Highness urges the people of Monaco to respect containment measures and limit contact with others to a minimum.

Number of cases in the region - Meanwhile the number of cases of the coronavirus in the Alpes Maritimes region has increased with 23 new cases reported on Thursday 19th March.

The total for the PACA region now stands at 690. 133 in the Alpes Maritimes and 124 in the Var. 9 people have died in the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region and 44 of the 690 are in intensive care.

The total number of cases of the coronavirus in France stands at 10,995 cases of which 4,461 are hospitalised and there have been  372 deaths. The number of cases in France has double in four days. 

Cannes film festival - The Cannes Film Festival has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Organisers of the festival confirmed the decision on Thursday evening but have not yet given new dates.

 

Nice and confinement measures - In Nice a drone has been deployed to fly over the city to make sure confinement measures are being respected.

At 2.30pm on Thursday the drone flew over the city equipped with a loud speaker, able to remind people of the measures to be respected during this period of confinement, put in place by the government in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Due to people not respecting the new confinement measures access to all beaches on the Mediterranean coast of France have been banned. The decision was taken jointly by the prefects of Corsica, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. The Prefect also said that he does not rule out closing the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in view of recent behaviour. The mayor of Villeneuve Loubet, Lionnel Luca, announced on Thursday that access to the promenade in Villeneuve Loubet is forbidden. He urged residents to stay in their homes.

Air France - Air France announced that it’s  making every effort to ensure the return of French and European nationals abroad, working  closely with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies to identify the repatriation needs of French and European nationals and to implement additional transport solutions at specific prices as quickly as possible.

Confinement period - Meanwhile there coud be an extension on the confinement period as The Director General of the health agency, Public Health  France, Genevieve Chêne announced on French radio on thursday morningthat the "prolongation of the confinement  is very likely to be necessary" specifying that it would be necessary to wait "between 2 and 4 weeks" to observe a change in the dynamics of the coronavirus epidemic.  She said that an extension "will most likely be necessary." Meanwhile, the Italian prime minister has already announced that Italy's lockdown measures will be extended - they currently run until the 3 April.  

 

Protective masks - The Minister of Health Olivier Véran told the National Assembly on Thursday that thirty million protective masks have been delivered to health personnel over three days but he still called on all French people to use masks sparingly. Meanwhile, the manager of a pharmacy in Paris has been fined for selling the FFP2 type masks, which are for caregivers or sick people. His stock, amounting to almost 1,000 masks was seized by authorities and given to health personnel.

The mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard has called for stricter enforcement of the containment measures. He said he had asked central government for an immediate increase in enforcement of the confinement rules. He said that authorities had to "strike harder, day and night, in each neighborhood where the situation requires it."

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has said that people who do not respect the confinement rules are "imbeciles". He said that such people pose risks to themselves, their family, their loved ones and also to health personnel."

The Ministry of Sport has today clarified the confinement rules by saying that jogging is pemitted, but only for a maximum distance of 2km.

 

Support networks during confinement - Mutual support networks between neighbours become very useful during this period of confinement, from looking after children, the elderly to even printing out documents needed in order to go out. .

 Their initial objective was to recreate the bond between neighbours and to tackle isolation, exclusion or overconsumption. 

 Neighborhood networks are now taking on their full meaning, as Emmanuel Macron urged the French on Monday to stay at home as much as possible for a minimum of two weeks. 

 There are several mutual support networks to help each other during confinement. For more information go to our Facebook page 106.5 Riviera radio or website riviera radio.mc . 

 

Business.

Central Banks and governments around the world have been pouring billions of dollars into their economies in a bid to stop the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak from worsening further.

The US Senate has approved an emergency 1 trillion dollar package that includes direct financial help for American citizens ,relief for small businesses and steps to stabilise the economy.

Reports from China say that the government is unleash trillions of yuan of fiscal stimulus to revive the economy which is facing its first contraction in 4 decades.

Analysts say that the speed and aggression wheeled out by governments to cushion the economic fallout from the virus has been resonating somewhat in financial markets.

The dollar remains the pre-eminent safe-haven asset but its surge is proving to be a nightmare for many countries and firms that have borrowed heavily in the US currency which is leading to more selling in emerging market economies.

US stock market futures are down again this morning though ,unsettled by the news that the Governor of California has ordered residents to stay at home.

 

WalMart has announced that its to hire 150,000 extra workers to cope with extra demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week ,Amazon announced a similar move as shoppers flood to its website looking to stock up on essential groceries and other staples.

WalMart also said that it plans to pay a special cash bonus of 300 dollars to full-time workers and 150 dollars to those on part-time contracts.

The 150,000 new workers will be employed in the firm’s stores clubs ,distribution and fulfillment centres.

A rush to US supermarkets by shoppers fearing shortages or quarantine has seen the shelves cleared in recent days prompting retailers to boost their stocks of food and household cleaners and detergent.

 

And-In the UK ,the Chancellor of the Exchequer is set to announce another raft of measures to help the economy through the coronavirus pandemic.

Rishi Sunak is reported to be going to announce an employment and wage subsidy package to try and protect millions of jobs.

Talks with business leaders and trade unions lasted long into the night as the UK government attempts to limit the economic fallout from the crisis.

Many firms are warning of collapse ,wiping out thousands of jobs as the pandemic has put life in the country mainly on hold.

 

Sport.

 

Formula 1-The Automobile Club of Monaco has announced that both the Historic and Formula 1 Grand Prix are being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon the Club said that after careful consideration it had taken the decision with great sadness to cancel both the Historic Grand Prix which was scheduled to take place between the 8th and 10th of May and the Formula 1 Grand Prix which had been scheduled for the 21st to the 24th of May.

The Automobile Club of Monaco expressed its deep regret to fans ,partners and members and said that it would not be possible to reschedule the events later in the year.

The Dutch and Spanish Grand Prix have also been postponed due to the outbreak.

 

Football-All football in England has been suspended until at least the 30th of April because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The suspension goes across all flights of the game from the Premier League through to women’s football.

The FA has agreed that the season can be extended indefinitely.

 

 

Olympics-The head of World Athletics Lord Sebastian Coe has said that its too early to decide whether to cancel the Tokyo Olympic Games.

In an interview with the BBC ,Lord Coe said that a precipitous decision should not be made with the games still four months away.

He said that events were changing by the hour and that he was trying to manage the situation.

Many athletes are calling for the games to be scrapped.

 

Rugby Union-Many English Premier League clubs are asking players to take pay cuts to help the sport cope with the financial cost of the coronavirus outbreak.

Premiership Rugby has been suspended until at least the 20th of April with a further delay expected.

Club losses will far exceed a million pounds with many players willing to take a 25 percent pay cut to help prevent financial crisis.

 

Weather.

 

Partially cloudy with the chance of an isolated shower and moderate easterly winds.

Top temperature 17 degrees.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 17-18 degrees.

 

 

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