PARIS is gearing up for a battle for public space today after the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said cafes, bars, and restaurants would temporarily be allowed to set up tables on pavements and in parking spaces when they open.
Coronavirus lockdown measures are being eased even further on Tuesday, with food and drink establishments opening across most of France for the first time since March 14. Paris, however, remains ‘orange’ on the country’s Covid-19 map, meaning the virus is still circulating, and bar, cafe, and restaurant owners have been told they can only serve customers outside on terraces and with strict physical distancing and protection measures in place.
French police have already been called out to calm angry pedestrians who have been stopped from parking as dining tables appeared in their spaces. Like most capital cities across the world, car parking spaces are extremely limited and hard to find and Paris is no different.
“We have adopted a plan to help bars and restaurants for at least six months from March until the end of September.
“One of these measures is the free occupation of a part of space in Paris. It could be pavements where possible or parking places. We could also close certain roads to traffic for some weekends to allow bars and restaurants to have more space,” said Hidalgo.
The establishments will also be required to register their request to use the public space online and sign up for a 10-point ‘charter’ of good behaviour.
Along with physical distancing and protection measures, bars, cafes, and restaurants must close at 11pm, limit noise nuisance, and avoid blocking pavements to pushchairs and people with reduced mobility. They are not allowed to install electrical equipment or use plastic cups, and they must ensure the terraces are kept clean, particularly of cigarette ends.