French and Riviera News. Friday July 3rd 2020

Monaco Covid-19 -Authorities in Monaco are carrying out a test and trace operation after a student from the college Charles III tested positive for coronavirus.

Health officials say that the 11 year old student contracted the virus from a family member who’d returned from an overseas trip outside the European Union.

Two more members of the same  household has also tested positive and the entire family is self-isolating.

Tests have now been carried out on 5 teachers from the college Charles III as well as 11 students.The risks of the infection spreading in the college are described as minimal as everyone has been wearing face masks in class and social distancing measures have been rigorously enforced.

A test and trace operation is underway to track the infected student’s movements over the past few days to find anyone  who may have been in close contact.

 

More shots fired-More gunshots have been heard in the troubled Liserons area of east Nice which has been under increased police surveillance in recent weeks.

Police say that the shots were heard following a fight in the district during which a man was stabbed.

The incident is almost a copycat repeat of violence seen on the 11th of June which prompted authorities to call for CRS police reinforcements.

The area is a notorious spot for drug dealers. Several drugs related arrests have been made since the police presence was stepped up.

 

Money ,money ,money- The Southern Region of France says that the European Union has allocated 43 million euros in funding to help ease the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Region Sud has already pumped 1.4 billion euros into local economies and had asked the European Union to contribute.

20 million euros is coming from the European Regional Development Fund with 10 million coming from the Regional Fund to support small businesses.The rest of the money is made up with 10 million euros from the European Social Fund and 3 million from the same fund to support distance learning.

 

 

 

Holiday help- The family allocation body(CAF) is to offer grants to help essential workers pay for holidays during the summer.

Around 3,600 people-mainly hospital and care workers will be able to apply for a 500 euro grant to pay for a week’s accommodation from an approved list of CAF holiday destinations in France.

People must have at least one child to qualify and provide a signed statement from their employer proving that they have been on the front line during the coronavirus crisis.

30 percent of regional CAF offices around France are operating similar programmes.

 

Holiday grants - If you’re still wondering where in France to take a summer holiday this year then several departmental tourism boards are offering vouchers ,prize draws and discounts in a bid to encourage visitors.

Hundreds of thousands of people have had their holiday plans disrupted owing to the coronavirus crisis and French regions are in desperate need of cash and are attempting to increase revenue.

Departments including Les Landes in the south west ,the Charente and Charente Maritimes , the Maine et Loire and the Bouches du Rhône are offering a variety of schemes that offer up to 150 euros in cash vouchers on proof of accommodation booking or receipts showing that 250 euros has been spent in the department.

Details are available at regional tourism board websites. A google search will take you to the right site. For example ,Les Landes information is available at www.tourismelandes.com .

 

Hand Gels Recalled -Two brands of alcohol hand gel are being recalled as authorities say that they are not effective in the prevention of coronavirus.

The 500ml bottles of ON DERMO and 150ml CLEAN AND PURE brands do not contain enough ethanol and isopropanol to create an effective antibacterial or antiviral barrier.

Anyone who has a bottle of either product is asked to take it back to the point of sale.

All the relevant information is available on the French Economy Ministry website at www.economie.gouv.fr .

 

In National News.

 

Macron interview-President Macron has said that the next phase of his leadership will have a “new team” but refused to be drawn on the future of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

In an interview with regional journalists on Thursday , Mr Macron said that one of the reforms he would be pushing for in the final two years of his presidency was an overhaul of the pension system.

He also refused to rule out putting France into another period of lockdown should there be a second wave of coronavirus.

Mr Macron also promised massive new investment in health care to deal with the needs of the French people with pay increases for front line workers.

He also pledged not to increase taxes including the controversial carbon tax for at least two years.

As far as the future of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is concerned ,Mr Macron would only say that “he has carried out remarkable work in often very difficult circumstances”.

A wide-reaching government reshuffle is expected on or before the 8th of July.

 

 

200 clusters -The French Health Minister says that authorities have identified 200 new clusters of coronavirus around the country but that the situation is “under control”.

Olivier Veran says that tracing and isolation measures have been effective and there is little evidence that a second wave of the virus is underway.

In an interview with RTL on Thursday ,Mr Veran said that numbers of coronavirus cases have been falling regularly for the past 10 weeks.

France came out of lockdown 6 weeks ago and the Health Minister said that the country was “well prepared” for “if and when” a second wave started to manifest.

He said that extra measures are already being taken including protecting the vulnerable ,care homes and a continual stepping up of contact tracing.

 

France sanctioned- The European Court of Human Rights has sanctioned France for the fourth time for the maltreatment of asylum seekers.

The court ruled that the French state has acted illegally by not providing humane accommodation in the case of three men who sought asylum in the country between 2013 and 2014.

The three ,an Iranian ,a Russian and an Afghani national were left homeless and the court ruled that France had violated Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

The men were awarded between 10,000 and 12,000 euros in compensation.

The Court warned France that it had a legal obligation to offer  any asylum seeker proper accommodation during the entire period when their case is being heard.

The French interior ministry estimates that there were 138,420 claims for asylum made the country last year.

Many current claimants have no financial resources and are living in makeshift camps ,notably along the northern French coast around Calais and Dunkerque.

 

Stampede- The residents of Hunspach in the Alsace are preparing for an avalanche of visitors after it was named village of the year in a French TV competition.

The village of 652 inhabitants on the French border with Germany was selected in a poll of more than 700,000 TV viewers for its picturesque half-timbered houses  and convex glass windows.

Several hundred thousand visitors are now expected to descend on the village during the summer holidays which may not be such a welcome result for the proud residents.

 

Business.

 

The US economy added 4.8 million jobs in June according to the latest non farm payroll numbers which were released on Thursday.

Employment surged by the largest amount since the Labor Department started keeping records in 1939.

The latest rebound followed better than expected employment data in May when an extra 2.5 million jobs were added but spiraling coronavirus cases in big US states including Florida ,California and Texas may not make July’s data make very good reading.

June’s rise is far bigger than the 3 million extra jobs forecast.Most came as restaurants and factories reopened after being shut down in March.

Separate Labor Department data on Thursday also showed that in the week ending the 27th of June ,initial claims for unemployment fell only slightly to 1.43 million on the previous week. The figures were described as “worryingly small “ by Oxford Economics.

 

Dozens of countries will  be exempted from  quarantine on arrival of passengers  in England  following a government decision on Thursday.

The news will come as a welcome relief to travel firms and airlines who have suffered massive losses since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ministers has previously said that they were working to establish a “small number” of air corridors but now ,a “very long list “ of counties is set to be published later today.

The first countries named on the list are France ,Germany ,Spain and Italy with passengers no longer required to self-isolate for two weeks on arrival in England from the 10th of July. The new regulations only apply to England for the time being with the devolved nations taking their own decisions at a later date.

As many as 75 countries could be on the list as criticism of the entire quarantine programme increased.

The former UK Transport Minister Theresa Villiers described the government’s quarantine legislation as “not worth it” on Thursday after it was revealed that no police force anywhere in the country has issued fines for people breaking the rules and that the UK Border Force has handed out only 2 penalties since the measures came into force on June the 8th.

 

And - Primark is to push ahead with plans to open 5 new stores despite economic uncertainty over the coronavirus.

The firm is to open new outlets in France , the United States and Poland and says that all but 8 of its existing 375 stores are now trading again.

Primary’s sales were down by 75 percent in the second quarter but shoppers have returned to its stores in force over the past few week with children’s clothing ,summer fashion and nightwear all in high demand.

City centre stores continue to suffer because of a lack of tourists and lower footfall.

 

Sport.

 

Formula 1-The moment that fans have been waiting for is nearly here with the first race of a shortened season taking place in Austria on Sunday.

The race will be held behind closed doors with strict hygiene measures in place.

Six time world champion Lewis Hamilton will be bidding to equal Michael Schumacher’s all time record of 7 world titles this season and the signs for the first race are looking good for the Mercedes star with rivals Ferrari experiencing car trouble.

Qualifying is at 3 pm on Saturday with the race at 3.10 on Sunday.

 

Football-There were two games in the English Premier League last night.Sheffield United beat Spurs 3-1 and the Champions Liverpool were thrashed 4-0 at Manchester City.

 

In the English Premier League this weekend.

On Saturday Norwich play Brighton.Leicester play Crystal Palace.Manchester United host Bournemouth.Wolves play Arsenal and Chelsea are at home to Watford.

On Sunday Burnley play Sheffield United.Newcastle host West Ham.Liverpool play Aston Villa and Southampton play Manchester City.

Spurs play Everton on Monday.

 

Cricket-England are waiting for the results of a coronavirus test on all rounder Sam Curran after he was taken ill on the second day of the intra-squad warm-up match.

Curran experienced sickness and diarrhoea and is self-isolating in Southampton.

The results of the test are expected today.

 

Racing-The Epsom Oaks and the Derby will be run on the same day for the first time in history this weekend as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting will take place behind closed doors with three miles of fencing erected around the course to prevent the public from entering.

Trainer Aiden O’Brien has six horses in the Derby with jockey Ryan Moore onboard Mogul.

Frankie Dettori is going for his third Derby victory and will ride English King in the big race tomorrow which is off at 17.55 French time.

 

Weather.

 

Partially cloudy with the chance of some thundery showers in places this afternoon.

Moderate to strong westerly winds developing across the Var and areas west of the Cap d’Antibes and highs of 26-30 degrees.

Overnight lows of 22 degrees on the coast and 17 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 27-31 degrees.

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