Chairs and tables stacked on top of each other, empty counters, closed doors: Marseille woke up, Monday, September 28, without a cafe or restaurant, after the decision to completely close restaurants and bars for 15 days, in order to fight against the spread of Covid-19.

In the second largest city in France, opposite the Saint-Charles train station, the Printemps café, usually open early in the morning, is closed and the slate displaying the dish of the day is empty.

In another district of Marseille, along Avenue du Prado, the café-brasserie Le Kilt has decided to open for take-out.

“The hardest part, I think, is seeing everyone working and not being able to work,” says Clément, who prefers not to give his last name.

"There are going to be a lot fewer take-out customers," he adds wearily.

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"We're paying the price"

Sunday evening, rare were the customers to enjoy a last drink before closing, in an atmosphere very refreshed by a strong mistral.

"We were warned three days before, it's already better than during confinement", explains Nicolas Arecchi, owner of Little Temple Bar, a pub located just next to the Old Port of Marseille.

And if the prefectural decree specifying the new measures to fight against Covid-19 orders the total closure of restaurants and bars in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille for 15 days, with a progress report within a week, he does not believe it: "For me, it will last a month, and not just 15 days".

"That puts four people out of work, today we pay for the lack of control for two months. The problem is that a minority of establishments respected absolutely nothing," he pleaded.

"We are paying the price today when we had to play gendarmes all summer."

The closure also concerns 15 other municipalities in Bouches-du-Rhône, including La Ciotat, Gardanne, Arles or Martigues, but only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The announcement on Wednesday of these new measures by the Minister of Health Olivier Véran sparked an outcry among professionals and local elected officials, who denounced restrictions taken without any consultation and highlighted the slowdown according to them of the epidemic in the region, in Marseille in particular.

LR president of the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Renaud Muselier, has announced that he has filed a collective action for interim relief before the administrative court of Marseille.

Closure of bars and restaurants in Marseille, Aix and Guadeloupe, closure of bars at 10 p.m. in several large cities: professional organizations are calling for the immediate withdrawal of measures deemed unjust and discriminatory @UMIH_France @GNI_CHR dUs9JB81TP

- lhotellerieLHR (@lhotellerieLHR) September 24, 2020

With AFP

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