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Paris’ covered markets reopen – for collection only

Covered markets in Paris have been permitted to reopen - but only for customers to order in advance and then go and collect their goods.

Paris' covered markets reopen - for collection only
Traders are allowed to sell goods for delivery or collection. Photo: AFP

The markets have been closed since the country's strict lockdown began on March 17th.

An exemption at the end of March allowed some French markets to reopen, but only in areas where they serve an essential function.

 

Around a quarter of markets were open again by April, although these were largely in rural areas or small towns and the markets of Paris and its surrounding suburbs remained closed.

However now Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and police chief Didier Lallement have signed a decree allowing the city's covered markets to reopen – but only under tight conditions.

The decree issued on Saturday stated: “From today, the covered markets of Paris are authorised to allow customers to order their shopping by phone or internet and then come, by appointment, to collect their order at the entrance to the market.”

Customers will not be allowed inside the markets, but markets and individual traders will be allowed to prepare orders for home delivery.

The markets affected are:

  • Enfants Rouges (3rd arrondissement)
  • Saint Germain (6th)
  • Saint-Martin et Saint-Quentin (10th)
  • Beauvau (12th)
  • Passy (16th)
  • Ternes et Batignolles (17th)
  • La Chapelle (18th)

The order refers only to markets in Paris, not in the suburbs, which have also been closed.

The decree also thanked Parisians for their efforts in sticking to the strict lockdown rules.

 

 

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STRIKES

French doctors to stage more strikes in February

General practitioners in France are planning another industrial action that will see doctors' offices closed as they call for better investment in community healthcare.

French doctors to stage more strikes in February

Primary care doctors in France announced plans to strike again in February, after walkouts in December and over the Christmas-New Year holidays in early January.

The strike will take place on Tuesday, February 14th, and it comes just a few weeks ahead of the end-of-February deadline where France’s social security apparatus, Assurance Maladie, must reach an agreement to a structure for fees for GPs for the next five years.

Hospital doctors in France are largely barred from striking, but community healthcare workers such as GPs are self-employed and therefore can walk out. 

Their walk-out comes amid mass strike actions in February over the French government’s proposed pension reform. You can find updated information on pensions strikes HERE.

Previous industrial action led to widespread closures of primary care medical offices across the country. In December, strike action saw between 50 to 70 percent of doctor’s surgeries closed.

READ MORE: Urgent care: How to access non-emergency medical care in France

New concerns among GPs

According to reporting by La Depeche, in the upcoming strike in February primary care doctors will also be walking out over a new fear – the possibility of compulsory ‘on-call’ hours.

Currently, French GPs take on-call hours on a voluntary basis. Obligatory on-call time for primary care doctors was scrapped in the early 2000s after GPs mobilised against the requirement.

However, representatives from the Hospital Federation have called for it to be reinstated in order to help relieve emergency services.

Additionally, GPs are calling for Saturday shifts to considered as part of their standard working week, in order to allow for a two-day weekend.

Striking primary care doctors are more broadly calling for actions by the government and Assurance Maladie to help make the field more appealing to younger physicians entering the profession, as the country faces more medical deserts, and for working conditions to be improved.

Those walking out hope to see administrative procedures to be simplified and for the basic consultation fee – typically capped to €25 – to be doubled to €50.

In France patients pay the doctor upfront for a visit, and then a portion of the fee is reimbursed by the government via the carte vitale health card.

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