French and Riviera News Friday 8th May 2020

Progressive lifting of lockdown - French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe has confirmed that a progressive lifting of lockdown in France will take place from Monday May 11th. He warned that the "progressive deconfinement should not be a reason to be less vigilant”.

The government also confirmed that while a majority of regions have been classified as green and will therefore be able to begin lifting measures four regions, including the Ile de France remain classified red where the lifting of lockdown will be much slower.

The Var and the Alpes-Maritimes are classified green so what does this mean for our region?

Firstly, there is no compulsory confinement for those considered to be “vulnerable”, but they are advised to stick as much as possible to rules in place. Teleworking is still strongly recommended when possible and the staggering of employees going to and from work is advised to avoid crowded offices as well as public transport.

France’s health Minister confirmed that France "is ready to carry out large scale testing" for people with symptoms as well as those with whom they have been in contact. Masks are compulsory on public transport from 11 years and up.

For the 100km limit as the crow flies, a new certificate will be made available for those needing to go further due to a valid work or family reason.

While "the borders remain closed" the "free movement of cross-border workers remains possible".

Gatherings are limited to 10 people. This will be reexamined on June 2nd.

The opening of beaches and lakes will depend on decision made by prefects at the request of the mayors. Similar for shopping centers of more than 40,000 square meters, which will be allowed to reopen in agreement with the prefect.

400,000 companies are expected to reopen from Monday  with the exception of cafes, bars and restaurants.The Prime Minister added that after a three-week period in a region classified as green, the health situation would be reevaluated permitting a possible reopening of secondary schools, cafes bars and restaurants within the framework of sanitary measures in place.

Social charges for employers from March April and May will be abolished for all those which have been forced to close.

A concrete strategy report for the end of lockdown has been validated by the Head of State and will be published in the coming days.

Sail away - The maritime prefect of the Mediterranean has announced plans to reopen ports from Monday May 11th for boating and nautical leisure activities.

While still respecting the 100km limit, pleasure vessels will be able to set sail no more than 54 nautical miles from port and carry a maximum of 10 passengers.

Diving clubs will also reopen on the condition that they respect the rules of social distancing. Other activities such as paddle and kite surf, will also be permitted, again continuing to respect social distancing.

And while borders remain closed, vessels registered under the French flag from abroad will be allowed to return to France on presentation of a health status of passengers aboard, 48 hours ahead of their departure.

The new order from the maritime prefect does not concern cruises, an activity which remains prohibited until July 15.

Schools in Nice - Meanwhile following a report from the regional scientific council the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi has decided to reopen 154 local schools.

The reopening will be done gradually with priority being given to those attending the last year of nursery (grande section) and those in the first and last year of primary (CP and CM2). Classes will be limited to no more than ten pupils in nursery and 15 in primary education.

For those students in other primary school years going back to school is planned for May 28th.

School dinners will be served respecting additional hygiene measures as well as social distancing.

According to a survey by the city of Nice, 43% of parents are in favour of resuming classes.

Mayor of Nice - Meanwhile in an interview ahead of the Prime Minister’s speech on Thursday, Christian Estrosi expressed his wish to reopen parks, with the exception or children’s play areas, with a progressive reopening of open spaces in the coming weeks including the Promenade des Anglais.

Estrosi also called for the Prime Minister to address a rather grey area concerning masks. The mayor pointed out that while masks are strongly recommended by the government and obligatory of public transport regional authorities are unable to enforce a fine for not wearing a mask in public. Estorsi called for the decision to be requested by mayors to regional prefects.

Monaco - For the tenth consecutive day, no new Covid-19 positive cases were reported in the Principality on Thursday May 7th.

95 people have been affected by the virus in Monaco with 82 patients having recovered.

One patient is hospitalised in intensive care.

Meanwhile following a meeting on Thursday, the Covid-19 monitoring committee in Monaco has announced plans for testing the population of the Principality, with the aim of gradual testing for all.

Coronavirus cases - France on Thursday recorded 178 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours taking the total number of deaths to 25,987. 

The number of people in intensive care units fell by 5.9 percent. The number of people in hospital with coronavirus also fell again to 23,208 from 23,983, continuing an uninterrupted three-week fall and down almost 30 percent from an April 14 peak of 32,292.

Business

More than 3.2 million Americans filed for unemployment last week according to official data as the economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic continues to mount.

The fresh wave of applications brings the total number of jobless claims in the United States to 33.3 million -that’s some 20 percent of the workforce.

The impact of the virus has been felt across the economy affecting businesses from medical practices ,restaurants and administrative workers.

The monthly unemployment rate for April which will be published today is likely to reach 15 percent or higher.Just two months ago the jobless rate was only 3.5 percent.

America has suffered its worst growth numbers in a decade since the virus took hold with the worst retail sales on record and declines in business activity not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.

President Trump has said that he’s considering further economic measures ,possibly through executive orders to help provide against the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday ,Mr Trump said that he was considering further postponing the deadline for filing 2019 federal income tax returns adding  that “we have to help people”.

Congress has already passed major coronavirus relief bills worth nearly 3 trillion dollars including payments of 1,200 dollars to many citizens and more than 650 billion dollars in loans to small businesses.

Mr Trump suggested that there could be further individual payments but that extra measures needed to be studied first.

So far ,more than 75,000 people have died from the virus in the US and more than 1.25 million have been infected.

 

And-Executives at the ride hailing firm Uber have said that they may scale back parts of the business as they try to steer the firm through the coronavirus crisis.

The news comes after Uber said on Wednesday that it would be cutting around 14 percent of its workforce.

The move will help the firm to save a billion dollars but it warned that further measures may be necessary.

Uber said that it was taking a “hard look” at its overall cost structure to ensure that its core businesses of rides and eats emerge “stronger than ever”.

Uber has been diversifying into areas such as freight and driverless cars in recent times but has been re-focusing on its core elements since founder Travis Kalanick was ousted.

Sport

Formula 1-The sport’s chairman Chase Carey has said that there is the remote possibility that there will be no racing at all this season.

Mr Carey says that Formula 1 has been in discussions with creditors as to how to handle the loss of income in not being able to operate a season but added that he was “increasingly confident” that there would be a championship in 2020.

Formula 1 has released figures showing that income fell by 84 percent in the first quarter.

Mr Carey said that the coronavirus pandemic had had a “significant impact on Formula 1” and that the sport had been taking a number of measures to deal with it.

 

Football-The German Bundesliga will resume behind closed doors on the 16th of May under strict protocols agreed between the government and the German Football Association.

The derby game between Schalke and Borussia Dortmund will be the first game played while the leaders Bayern Munich will face U-Berlin on Sunday the 17th of May.

The Bundesliga is the first of the major European leagues to resume since the start of the coronavirus struck.

The English Premier League is also hoping to resume as is Serie A in Italy.

The Leagues in France and Spain have been halted.

 

Cricket-The former England batsman Brian Bolus has died at the age of 86.

Bolus played 7 Tests between 1963 and 1964 and averaged 41.33 with a top score of 88 made against India in Chennai.

In total ,he scored 25,598 first class runs including 39 centuries and he was part of three County Championship winning sides at Yorkshire before moving on to Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Weather

Mainly fine with light south easterly winds.

Top temperature 22-24 degrees.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees on the coast and 12 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine tomorrow with highs of 22-24 degrees.Clouding over with rain  on Sunday and a high of 20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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