France has been placed on lockdown again on October 29, leading to the closure of non-necessary stores, theaters, movie theaters, gyms as well as bars and restaurants at least until December 1, 2020.
This past November 12, France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex held a new press brief. “It would be irresponsible to lift it or even ease it for now. We have then decided to keep the rules of the lockdown unchanged at least for the next two weeks” he said. He went on to say: “First easing measures could be made from December 1 and would only apply to stores based on a fitted protocol” the Prime Minister said, adding “this first step could not apply to places receiving the public”.
A statement suggesting that restaurants and bars will have to be a little bit more patient before they can potentially reopen to the public. “This first step cannot yet apply to other places receiving the public where contamination risks are naturally high such as in bars, restaurants and gyms. Easing could be considered before the Holidays” the Prime Minister explained.
On November 16, Le Point goes even further and announces restaurants, brasseries, bistros, cafés and bars are not to reopen for the Holidays. Even worse, they could remain closed up to January 15 or even February 1, 2021, according to a source close to the file and in direct contact with Bercy. So far, this restriction is considered by the government but is likely to jeopardize even more the many professionals of the sector, already seriously impacted by the Coronavirus crisis.
On November 17 in the "Les 4 Vérités" show on France 2, the government's spokesperson, Gabriel Attal, promised the government will deliver "prospects in early December" adding that so far there was "no decision made on the agenda".
This Saturday November 21, 2020, on a trip in Dijon alongside Olivier Véran, Jean Castex rubs it in and says offhand "we will not reopen restaurants and bars around December 1" before adding "do not expect a precise date from me this morning because my indicator is health conditions".
For the record, Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire is trying to support the sector by setting up several financial aids including part-time working, loan guaranteed by the French state or even a solidarity fund.