The French government announces Sunday the decision to close bars in Paris from next week to stop the continuing spread of the new Coronavirus, while restaurants hope to avoid this decision thanks to the adoption of a strict health protocol.
Recent figures have shown that the epidemic is not receding, with about 17,000 positive cases recorded in 24 hours in a record toll.
And it is expected that the Paris region will move to a “maximum alert” state, similar to Aix Marseille (southeast) and Guadalupe (the Antilles) since the end of September.
French Health Minister Olivier Ferrand had given Parisian cafes some respite, saying that he was waiting for the latest numbers, but the epidemiological situation has not improved since then.
The deteriorating health situation is also reflected in a memo sent Friday by the Paris hospital assembly to human resources officials, which includes canceling leave for their employees during the All Saints’ holiday in late October due to Covid-19.
In Paris, bars were basically forced to close at 10 pm a week ago.
Restaurants are hoping to avoid this fate after proposing tight health control, such as measuring customers’ temperature upon entry, gathering all contact details with them, and limiting the number of people who sit together to eight, which are measures that the Supreme Council of Public Health is supposed to take by Monday.
The government has indicated that it will follow the advice of this body.
If you ratify this protocol, restaurants will thus be able to keep their doors open “fully or partially” even in “high alert” areas and thus reopen their doors in Aix Marseille.
A government source said, “It is not proposed to make differences in treatment because Paris and Marseille have been placed, as of Monday, in the same warning area”.
If Paris were on the front line, other major cities such as Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne could soon move to the red alert area and be concerned with closing the bars.
For the sector, which is mainly severely weakened by the health crisis, this represents another severe blow.
According to the main employers’ organization, UME, about 15% of the 220,000 companies in the sector – cafes, bars, hotels, restaurants and nightclubs – could stop working in the coming months in France, and between 220,000 and 250,000 employees could find themselves unemployed.