Restaurants in France “won’t open” as planned in January

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Doubts are emerging as to whether restaurants, bars and cafes in France will reopen on January 20 as planned – as government sources suggest, making owners increasingly desperate.
Restaurants and cafes were due to reopen on January 20, as it was hoped that the Covid-19 epidemic could be better contained.

Read more: Restaurants in France await reopening in January

But, as the number of daily cases continues to be higher than government targets and curfews remain in place across the country, the reopening of facilities is now in doubt – especially as experts health officials predicted that the Christmas and New Year celebrations could also cause an impending peak in the spread of the virus.

The most recent figures from the health organization Public Health France show that there have been 4,022 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, and 380 new deaths.

Radio channel RTL this week reported that “According to our information” and “several government sources”, the government has already taken the decision to postpone the reopening date.

He said the sources had “confirmed” that the reopening “would not be on January 20,” and had stopped using the conditional, suggesting that Prime Minister Jean Castex had already made the decision definitively.

He added that the news is expected to be announced by press conference in the coming days.

A restaurant manager, Fabrice Bonnot from Lyon, Told FranceInfo he was dismayed by suggestions of a postponed reopening, and fears that the € 10,000 per month aid he receives from the government will stop as long as restaurants remain closed.

Mr Bonnot said: “We do 10 to 15% of our usual activities during this time of year. If the [financial] help stops, how are we going to pay our bills? The owner doesn’t want to know. In addition, the rent I pay may also help him pay his bills and charges. ”

He added that he doubted restaurants would be allowed to open in January.

So far, the government has said it will provide financial assistance to businesses as long as the shutdown continues.

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