Paris (AFP)

Cafes, bars and restaurants will be able to reopen their terraces on May 19 everywhere in France, for tables of six guests, then their rooms on June 9, but will have to be limited to half their capacity, before being able to work. without limitations from June 30, the Prime Minister's services said on Monday.

Professionals hoped that certain territories, with better health indicators than elsewhere, would be exempt from this 50% gauge, which will severely handicap them, while only 40% of these establishments have a terrace, and that foreign tourists, like the business clientele, will not be back this summer.

For their part, all stores, including shopping centers and so-called "non-essential" stores, will be able to reopen on May 19 with a maximum customer rating for 8 square meters, already in force in most stores.

Then stores will be allowed to accept twice as many customers, or one for every 4 square meters, as of June 9.

This gauge is due to disappear on June 30.

Restaurant owners expressed concern at seeing their profitability jeopardized by the gauges imposed.

"We are happy to open but very worried about the gauge which will make our activity even more complicated and degraded," Didier Chenet, president of the GNI, the employers' union of independent hotel and restaurant workers, told AFP.

"Restaurants that have a terrace will only achieve half of 30% of their turnover, so they will start at 15% of their activity," he calculated.

For Roland Héguy, president of Umih, the main union in the hotel and restaurant industry, "this questions the ability of some to reopen, hence the need to maintain aid based on turnover achieved compared to 2019 ".

After June 30, bars and restaurants will be able to operate normally "in compliance with barrier and distancing measures".

As for the shops, "the device of the gauges conforms to what was announced to us last week by the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire", reacted to AFP Jacques Creyssel, general delegate of the Federation of trade and distribution companies (FCD).

"It will allow all shops to reopen in good sanitary conditions for our customers and our employees," he said.

As for the operators of discotheques, they will be fixed on "June 15 at the latest" on the date of their reopening and will be able to benefit from an extended support of their fixed costs, announced Monday the Minister for SMEs Alain Griset.

"We are going to have a meeting with the Ministry of Health in the coming days to see how we can consider reopening, in terms of gauges and protocols," he added.

© 2021 AFP