Amazon extends closure of French warehouses to May 5th

US online retail giant Amazon said Monday it will keep its warehouses in France closed until May 5th, after an appeals court confirmed a ruling restricting its deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon extends closure of French warehouses to May 5th
Photo: AFP

Amazon shut its warehouses in France on April 16th after a court said it could deliver only food, hygiene or medical products pending a review of safety measures for its roughly 10,000 employees in the country.

Dozens of employees had staged walkouts at several sites before the ruling, saying they worked in close proximity in contravention of social distancing measures imposed by the government to limit infections.

The US firm appealed the ruling, but on Friday the Court of Appeal in Versailles outside Paris rejected its application.

Amazon said in a statement on Monday that its workers will be asked to stay home until May 5th, adding they will receive full pay.

The appeals court also widened the list of goods that Amazon is allowed to deliver in France in the meantime.

Amazon will be allowed to deliver digital products, office goods, pet supplies, groceries, drinks and personal care products as well as the essential health and food goods allowed in the previous ruling.

The appeals court also lowered the amount Amazon would be fined for each violation, from €1 million to €100,000.

After its appeal was rejected, Amazon said on Facebook this meant that even if it processed a miniscule rate of unauthorised products – “on the order of 0.1 percent, could result in a penalty of more than $1 billion a week”.

“Unfortunately, this means we have no choice but to extend the temporary suspension of activities at our French distribution centres while we evaluate the best way to operate in light of the Court of Appeal decision,” it said.

“Our distribution centers in France and around the world are safe.”

Member comments

  1. Typical attitude of an American company putting itself before French citizens. Just another reason to BUY FRENCH and support our LOCAL BUSINESSES. And you know, SO WHAT of I pay a little more. I want to support our local economies and peoples. In some respects it may be even better if they just left France. This gives French citizens the opportunity to fill these needs for their family, friends and customers. And keep more tax money in France also.

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Macron demands France take ‘protective measures’ against Covid rise in China

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked his government to take "protective measures" as China sees an explosion of Covid-19 cases. The EU was also set to meet on Thursday to discuss measures.

Macron demands France take 'protective measures' against Covid rise in China

Macron has made it clear he is following developments in China very closely and has asked his government to put in place appropriate measures.

Those measures were yet to be announced on Thursday morning but the French government could follow the path of Italy and impose all travellers from China to provide a negative Covid-19 test before arriving in the country.

The French government said it was “ready to study all the useful measures that could be implemented in conjunction with France’s European partners and within the legal framework that exists today”.

On August 1, 2022 France adopted new rules to combat Covid-19 after scrapping its state of emergency. The text gave the government the right – until January 31st 2023 – to require travellers aged 12 and over to present a negative Covid-19 test prior to entering the territory in the event of a “new variant likely to constitute a serious health threat.” 

In Brussels the European Commission was to hold a meeting on Thursday to “discuss possible measures for a coordinated approach” by EU states in response to the explosion of Covid-19 cases in China.

Italy said on Wednesday it was reinstating mandatory coronavirus tests for arrivals from China following an explosion in cases there, with Milan’s Malpensa airport finding around half of all passengers tested were positive.

Coronavirus infections have surged in China as it unwinds tight controls that had torpedoed the economy and sparked nationwide protests.

China on Monday scrapped quarantine for inbound travellers from January 8th onwards, dismantling the last remaining piece of its stringent zero-Covid policy and ending some of the world’s harshest border restrictions.