Lockdown exit: non-necessary stores and shopping malls reopen today

Published by Caroline J., Cécile D. · Photos by Laurent P. · Published on 19 May 2021 at 09h29 · Updated on 19 May 2021 at 12h34
Non-necessary stores and shopping malls have been closed since April 3, 2021 - when the third lockdown started in France. This Wednesday May 19, 2021 marks the return of these stores in France: They are now allowed to reopen to their customers!

During a televised held this past March 31, French President Emmanuel Macron announces "non-necessarystores are to remain closed in mainland France until at least May 2. According to the latest - and vague - information shared by Gabriel Attal, stores closed may reopen from mid-May. After a governmental meeting, this past April 15, the government spokesman simply said that "at this stage it has not been decided yet, it is part of the leads. By mid-May we'll have the occaison to make announcements". No precise date has been given and most of all, no guarantee this reopening oh-so expected by stores will take place in May.

This April 29, we know more about the upcoming reopening of non-necessary storesEmmanuel Macron is expected to reveal the lockdown exit strategy and the reopening calendar in an interview issued this Friday April 30 in the regional daily press. And according to LCI and TF1, the implementation of gauges is set around mid-May. Europe 1 and Le Parisien go even further and give a reopening date: Wednesday May 19, 2021, namely past the Ascension weekend. Note non-necessary stores will reopen in compliance with limits and protocols fitting each place and sector. Therefore, starting May 19, covered stores and markets can open to people again in compliance with an 8-sqm per customer gauge. Starting from June 9, this gauge will move to 4sqm per customer for these same stores.

For the record, the uncertain situation is obviously worrying many storekeeprs. Alliance du Commerce director general and Union du Grand Commerce de Centre Ville (UCV) delegate general Yohann Petiot does not hide his anger to France Info: "It will be six weeks of nationwide lockdown. We must never forget that some companies are closed since January 31, which is as many days closed in 2021 as in 2020". He wants to remind the government this forced closure jeopardizes the longevity of companies and employment.

Petiot sounds the alarm to protect these "medium-sized or intermediary-sized companies [that] have been given no other aid since the beginning of the crisis in March 2020 than part-time working". He now claims for "clear dates, because reopening needs preparation. Postponing needs to stop, we need clear dates enabling us to project ourselves and get ready. The closer the date, the better".

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