Faced with the constant progression of the COVID-19 epidemic, the French government should announce on Sunday the closure of bars in Paris next week, restaurants still hoping to escape it thanks to a reinforced health protocol.
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The latest national figures show that the epidemic is not stopping, with nearly 17,000 positive cases detected in 24 hours, a record. Indicators are deteriorating in the Paris region, which should switch to a state of “maximum alert”, such as Aix and Marseille (south-east) and Guadeloupe (West Indies) since the end of September.
Thursday, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran had granted a “reprieve” to Parisian cafetiers, saying he wanted to wait for the final rise in figures. However, since then, the indicators have not improved.
The deterioration of the health situation is also reflected in a note sent Friday by the Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) to its human resources managers considering the cancellation of the leave of its staff during the All Saints holidays, the last half of October, due to COVID-19.
In Paris, bars have already been forced for a week to lower the curtain at 10 p.m. Restaurants are still hoping to escape this fate after having proposed reinforced health control – taking the temperature of customers at the entrance, collecting their contact details and limiting groups of diners to eight – on which the High Council of Public Health must be. pronounce by Monday.
The government has hinted that it will follow the advice of the court. If it validates the protocol, restaurants will therefore be able to remain “all or part” open, even in “maximum alert” areas, and they will therefore be able to reopen in Aix-Marseille.
“There is no question of making differences in treatment, because Paris and Marseille are placed from Monday in the same zone” alert, advance a government source.
If Paris is on the front line, other large cities such as Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Saint-Étienne could also soon switch to the red alert zone and be affected by the closures of bars.
For the sector, already very weakened by the health crisis, this is yet another hard blow. According to the main employers’ organization, Umih, around 15% of the 220,000 companies in the sector – cafes, bars, hotels, restaurants, brasseries, nightclubs – could go out of business in the coming months in France, and 220 in France. 250,000 employees could find themselves unemployed.