"We are going to push the flower boxes, on June 2 we spread the terrace": relieved to be able to reopen her cafe in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, Ludivine intends to take advantage of the facilities provided by Anne Hidalgo to save a bit of turnover.

"We are in a hurry, even if we know that we will not be able to put all of the 60 seats inside," adds the manager, who figures in "several tens of thousands of euros" the loss related to confinement.

Cafés, bars & restaurants reopen their terraces on Tuesday in Paris: I am delighted! To help them, the City will allow them to occupy sidewalks, streets and parking spaces free of charge, while respecting health and individual instructions. https://t.co/5devdrWHVa

- Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) May 31, 2020

Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced on May 28 that cafes, bars and restaurants could reopen on June 2 in Paris, but only on the terrace, because in this area classified as "orange" the virus "circulates a little more strongly".

A relief for Parisian restaurateurs, who lost 90% of their turnover in April and probably 70% in May, notes Pascal Brun, consultant and former CEO of the restaurant group Frères Blanc.

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But with the distancing of the tables and the ban on serving in the dining room, catching up can only be partial: "The restaurateurs will reopen to reconnect with their customers, but they will not make any money," adds Pascal Brun.

To accompany the reopening, and while here and there in the capital some cafes already start during the weekend to install some tables on the sidewalk, the city has decided to allow establishments to extend their terrace beyond the perimeter usually authorized, free of charge, until the end of September.

"Paris must be alongside restaurants and bars"

"We wanted a light and flexible simple declaration procedure", which can be done online, explains Jean-Louis Missika, deputy mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, in charge of town planning.

Concretely, the restaurateurs will have to indicate their wish to have a temporary terrace and indicate with a diagram the space which they intend to occupy. They will be able to extend their terrace along shops if they agree, and occupy "up to three parking spaces in front of their restaurant".

To play the good neighborly game, they will also have to fill out a ten-point charter which will be displayed in the window: peacefulness of local residents, limit set at 10 p.m., pedestrian traffic, cleanliness with the absence of disposable dishes ...

>> Read: Covid-19: no resumption of the epidemic in France

What "allow to run these businesses that are in great need," says Didier Chenet, president of the GNI Synhorcat employers' union, which estimates 12,500 the number of establishments with a terrace in Paris (including 10,000 open).

The city also plans to temporarily close certain streets in around twenty tourist spots to allow the terraces to expand: the Marais district, the Ourcq canal, the Abbesses or Daguerre streets ...

"Paris, in the crisis we are going through, must be alongside restaurants and bars. They are the soul of our city," said Anne Hidalgo to the Parisian on Sunday, warning: "There are hundreds of jobs that are stake".

With AFP

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