French restaurants reopen … with some limitations



What has changed for restaurants in France this week?

All cafes, bars and restaurants can open their indoor and outdoor spaces in “green zones”, which means that customers can eat inside a restaurant for the first time since mid-March.

Do restaurants have to follow social distancing rules?

All staff must wear face masks at all times. Customers can remove their masks to eat and drink but must put them back on if they move around the restaurant; going to the toilet, for example. Hand sanitizer should be provided and tables should be spaced at least one meter apart.

What other restrictions were relaxed on June 2?

Parks and gardens are now open in Paris and in “green zones”, beaches, leisure centers, swimming pools, gymnasiums and theaters can reopen. More schools are open again – with health restrictions in place – and the 100-kilometer travel limit has been lifted, meaning people are free to move around the country again.

But is the situation different in Paris?

The measures concerning travel in the metro during rush hour (you must have a document with you proving that your trip is essential) are still in place. The capital’s bars and restaurants can only open their terraces and outdoor spaces; guests are not allowed to eat or drink inside.

When will Parisian restaurants be able to open their interior spaces?

The next phase of deconfinement is scheduled to take place on June 22, and cafe owners in the capital are hoping to open their indoor dining rooms.

Why does France have different rules depending on the region?

The country has been divided into green and orange zones based on current activity from the novel coronavirus and pressure on intensive care units. Almost all of France is classified as a green zone by the national health authorities. Paris is still considered an orange zone. No region is currently marked in red.

What does it mean to have different colored areas?

It defines how quickly and to what extent a region can come out of lockdown. Parks and gardens were opened in green zones on May 11, for example, but Paris had to wait until June 2 to open its public green spaces.