Lunchtime News. Thursday July 16th 2020

Breaking News-The French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced that the wearing of face masks in closed public spaces will be obligatory from next week.

Mr Castex had said that the decision on wearing face masks in public spaces would happen “sometime before the end of the month” but government scientific advisors are concerned about increasing clusters of coronavirus particularly in large cities including Paris and Marseilles.

Fines will be handed out to anyone not complying with the regulations.

 

Truck breakdown- A broken down truck has been causing long delays for motorists on the A8 today.

Big jams developed on the eastbound side of the road after the truck broke down near Villeneuve Loubet. Motorists were delayed by more than half an hour trying to get past the problem with tailbacks stretching beyond the Antibes Peage. The situation has now returned to normal.

 

Coronavirus costs- The town of Antibes has estimated the coronavirus crisis has cost it around 10 million euros so far.

Much of the cash ,which was taken from the balance of the 2019 budget has been spent on providing PPE to hospitals ,doctors and care workers.

Money has also been spent on ventilators and testing kits.

The council said that it had no plans to halt or delay current projects including on the Jean Moulin School or the new Music Conservatory which is due to open in September 2021.

 

Sales-Retail outlets in the south of France have reported moderate footfall on the opening day of the summer sales.

Stores and shopping centres have seen lower numbers of shoppers than on the opening day of the sales last year.

The Nice Etoile shopping centre was reported as being “relatively quiet” while other centres including Polygon Riviera and Cap 3000 were busier.

The summer sales have been delayed this year in an attempt to give retailers a boost following lockdown. They’re due to last for 4 weeks.

 

Train strike-People wishing to make the picturesque train journey from Nice to Digne should be aware that staff at the Chemins de fer de Provence are taking industrial action until Sunday.

Until Saturday ,a number of train stations will be closed and there will be no service between Nice and the Plan du Var.

A replacement bus service will be laid on in the affected areas.

Information is available at https://trainprovence.com/accueil/

 

In National News.

 

Clusters-The French Health Minister is urging vigilance amid a surge of coronavirus cases in the north west Mayenne region.

Olivier Veran also says that the virus is gaining ground again in Paris and some other towns and cities including Marseilles.

In the Mayenne , numbers of infections have tripled since June and authorities are ramping up test and trace procedures.

The French Public Health Agency says that cases in the department are now higher than the national average and have exceeded the alert threshold of 50.1 new cases per 1,000 inhabitants detected over the past 7 days.

 

Mr Veran has called on “everyone in France to be particularly vigilant and active against the virus”.

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