Four French restaurants are testing the Covid health pass

Two restaurateurs in France who took part in a four-day trial to see how the Covid sanitary pass will work in restaurants report mixed reviews, one praising an easy system, the other saying it wastes staff time and annoys customers.

France is preparing to make its health passport an obligation for all adults to enter restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. from August 9, subject to the approval of the French Constitutional Council, which will be announced tomorrow (August 5).

The health pass is proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19, proof of a negative Covid test carried out in the last 48 hours, or proof of having been positive for Covid 11 days to six months before

In view of this, the prefect of the Territoire de Belfort department (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) organized a trial to see how local restaurants will manage the use of the health pass.

The trial involved four restaurants and ran from Thursday July 29 to Sunday August 1.

Gérard Caraffini, owner of the Bistroquet in Belfort, said it went very well.

“We had no problem. Our customers have responded well and there has been no difficulty, ”he said. The connection.

He said he did not need to employ additional staff and that it was relatively easy to verify people’s documents, including on paper or through the French Covid TousAntiCovid app.

“Our clientele are not really young people, they are rather older people who have already been vaccinated,” he said.

“So from the perspective of my clients, there has been no problem.”

He didn’t want to say if he thought the use of health cards in restaurants was a good measure, but said the important thing was for as many people as possible to get vaccinated, in France and in the entire Europe.

“It worked well with us,” he said.

“But I know other establishments, like bistros or bars, may have more problems.”

One of those restaurant owners who said they had a negative experience with the trial was Francis Luczak, owner of La Petite Charrue in Vauthiermont.

“It was difficult to set up for our staff, it was misunderstood by our customers, it was a source of tension for everyone. It didn’t go well, ”he said.

The biggest problems, he added, were that it wasted his staff time and caused animosity with customers.

“There was a media article about the trial and we were inundated with insults and comments that weren’t very kind. It was very negative, ”he said.

He said he had no fewer customers than usual during the trial, but believes that if the health pass law comes into effect for restaurants from next Monday (August 9), this will certainly affect the number of clients he has.

“We hope that the health pass will not be required in restaurants from Monday and that the Constitutional Council will abolish this law tomorrow. We’ll have to see.

“We are in favor of welcoming everyone to our restaurant. It should be up to each restaurateur to make the decision [on who can enter] and take responsibility for it.

“If the number of vaccinated customers coming to the restaurant is not enough for us to manage economically, then we will have to close,” he said.

The Union of Trades and Hospitality Industries (UMIH) called on the Constitutional Council to repeal the law requiring the display of the health passport in outdoor dining areas and on terraces.

He said scientific data suggests that Covid-19 is spreading mainly in interior areas.

“The UMIH has always affirmed that the use of the sanitary pass on our terraces would be inapplicable by professionals, but also manifestly contrary to the principles of necessity and proportionality justifying the restriction of the most fundamental public freedoms”, writes the authority in a statement. press release published on July 28.

France’s health card is already required to enter museums, theaters, cinemas, public swimming pools and other places that can accommodate more than 50 people.

The Constitutional Council has the last word on the specifics of extending the use of the health pass in restaurants, cafes, bars, hospitals (excluding emergency care), retirement homes and long-distance transport services, such as TGV.

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