Bars and cafes open across France and collectively sigh in relief

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From Marseille to Paris, from Dieppe to Annecy, the streets of France were full again today, after the reopening of bars, cafes and restaurants for the first time since midnight on Saturday March 14 – the big difference was that people wore masks and kept their distance.

The sidewalks were once again full of people, in stark contrast to yesterday when the curfew was still in place. As the New York Times reported in Paris, it was time for people to save their outdoor coffee again, for the first time since early March. “They could be friendly without getting too close to each other, a French ideal … they could be roughly in the same space together, without ever having to talk to each other … and they could linger for hours if they needed. . ”

Bars, cafes and restaurants are now open in green areas – provided that the staff on duty wear masks and tables three feet apart with no more than 10 people at each table. People are not allowed to stand in bars and drink. In orange areas, people are only allowed to drink outside in terraces–Who understands Paris.

In controversy, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has proposed the sidewalks and roads of Paris so that cafes and bars without outdoor space can use public space to set up tables and chairs. His conservative opponent in the upcoming mayoral election, Rachida Dati, called it cheap against the election and would cause tension between motorists and pedestrians. Hidalgo asked that there be no noise, no music and everything must close before 10 p.m.

Today’s change has been a welcome relief for an industry where up to 98% of the tourism workforce has been laid off and the entire tourism system has been devastated – the France is the first country visited in the world. The government recently announced an 18 million euro ($ 19.5 million) fund to help the tourism sector recover.


These are the other new changes, starting today:

People can travel more than 100 km from home–Without needing a derogation, a piece of paper downloaded to an application or printed, saying that travel is necessary. As of today, people can travel freely in France.

Theaters, gymnasiums and swimming pools are now open in green areas but will remain closed in orange zones until June 22. Cinemas will also remain closed throughout the country until then.

All schools are now open, including those for older children– But many only accept a limited number of children at any time (for example, only in the morning, 3 hours a day, classes of ten at most, compulsory masks, no canteen or simply packed lunches, etc. .). Many will close for the summer break in 3 or 4 weeks.

Campsites, hotels and holiday villages are open in the green zones – in the orange zones, they will reopen on June 22.

Museums are now allowed to open– Although in practice, many choose to open gradually once they have developed the planning. As France Info reports, Versailles opens its doors on June 6, the Musée d’Orsay on June 23, the MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations) in Marseille on June 29, the Center Pompidou on July 1 and the Louvre on June 6. July.

Parks, gardens, beaches and lakes are now allowed to reopen at national scale.

While weddings are now allowed take place, it is always forbidden to gather in places with more than ten people at a time.

Transportation is operational on a national scale, with caveats–Masks are compulsory for people over 11 years old. On the SNCF, the restriction to use only one seat out of two has been lifted but still exists on buses, tram lines and the metro. Travel outside France is still prohibited until June 15, when the government will review the restrictions.

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