Paris (AFP)

"We are going to push the flower boxes, on June 2 we spread out 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.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced Thursday 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".

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 Mr. 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.

"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 complete a ten-point charter which will be displayed in the window: peace of mind of residents, limit set at 10 p.m., pedestrian traffic, cleanliness with the absence of disposable dishes ...

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

- "New model" -

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".

"We are going through a global health crisis where the fight against pollution is becoming a major necessity (...) I do not want to go back, a new model is needed", she adds.

Because before the exemptions for bars, other measures had been taken: temporary cycle paths, pedestrianization around large stations ...

"Finally! We are pedestrianized. At least what the crisis will have taught us is that we must radically change the way of organizing public space, favor soft mobility", welcomes the candidate AFP EELV at the municipal David Belliard.

But with the approach of the second round, some are annoyed to see the mayor of Paris thus occupy the ground.

"Ms. Hidalgo took advantage of the crisis to apply a program on which she was not elected," observed her rival LR Rachida Dati in Le Figaro magazine on Friday.

"She has no mandate to make these decisions" during a health crisis, launched in mid-May Anne-Christine Lang, candidate close to Cédric Villani (dissident LREM).

"These are temporary tracks, if Rachida Dati is elected, she can remove them all," said one in the entourage of the mayor of Paris.

© 2020 AFP