IT IS not easy for the French Government to impose new restrictions to stop the Covid-19 pandemic and at the moment the bar and restaurant sector, with the support of some mayors of large cities, is on the verge of rebellion due to severe schedule limitations.
After the protests in the street and the severe reproaches launched from the Marseille City Council, the French Government has agreed to delay until tonight, Sunday, September 27, the closing of the bars and restaurants in the metropolitan area from Marseille-Aix and in Guadeloupe. In addition to this 48-hour concession on the initial plan, Paris agreed to review the situation within a week and not two, as announced.
The measures announced on Thursday by the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, faced misunderstanding, if not anger, from the affected sectors and from many municipal officials.
The first deputy to the mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, was angered that his territory was once again being “punished” and “pointed the finger”, despite the fact that there were indicators that the pandemic was slowing down. Payan spoke of arbitrariness, of an “affront” against Marseille and of “lack of respect for the second city of France.”
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, also showed their anger.
In these cities, as well as Toulouse, Montpellier, Lille, Lyon, Saint-Etienne and other large cities, bars and restaurants must close from 10pm on Monday.
Estrosi has devised a special protocol for Marseille in an attempt to evade the order. His objective is that, in his city, bars and restaurants are treated like cinemas and theatres, which can open with rigid sanitary conditions and capacity. He proposes 14 extra measures, including the complete cleaning of the toilet after each use, including the doorknob, the total elimination of cash payment, the permanent opening of the doors to provide better ventilation and the prohibition of smoking even in the outdoor terraces.
The state aid offered to the owners of premises to alleviate their losses, such as the exemption of social contributions and an equivalent to the Spanish ERTE, are not convincing because they are considered insufficient.
Some fear that the clientele will move to neighbouring towns not affected by the restrictions or that meetings in private homes will become more common, which increases the risk of contagion.
We hope you enjoyed this article “The French Government tries to halt the revolt against the closing of the bars”.
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