IN PICTURES: Paris café terraces reopen after lockdown

The iconic café terraces of Paris began to reopen on Tuesday after almost three months of closure during lockdown.

IN PICTURES: Paris café terraces reopen after lockdown
All photos: AFP

Tuesday marked the beginning of 'phase 2' of the lifting of the lockdown in France, which allowed for many new freedoms such as unrestricted travel inside the country and the reopening of gyms and pools.

READ ALSO What changes as France moves into phase 2 of lockdown?


Across most of the country bars, restaurants and cafés were able to reopen in full, but in the greater Paris Île-de-France region, which has a higher circulation of Covid-19 than the rest of the country, only outdoor terraces were permitted to open.

There were also strict hygiene requirements for owners including ensuring social distancing and the wearing of masks for staff.

Nonetheless many business owners seized the opportunity to reopen, and indeed some reopened just after midnight on Tuesday – the first moment they were legally allowed to do so.

On Tuesday morning, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire showed his support by having a coffee at a café terrace.

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France will soon launch ‘digital stamps’: Here’s how they’ll work

From the beginning of next year, instead of the usual face of France's Marianne on your envelopes, you will be able to use a 'digital stamp.' Here's how that will work.

France will soon launch 'digital stamps': Here's how they'll work

La Poste has announced that starting in 2023, “digital stamps” will be available to consumers. 

“It’s very simple for the user,” assured Nathalie Collin, the director general of La Poste, explaining how the digital stamp will be an alternative to the ‘green’ stamps currently available for low-weight mail.

Here’s how it works: you download a code, which is a single-use 8-character code (a mix of letters and numbers) that you write by hand in the top right corner of your envelope or postcard instead of the stamp. Then, it works the same way – you send the letter just like you would any other.

You still have to pay for the code, just like you would a stamp. It is the same price of the usual green stamp, €1.16, but you purchase it on La Poste’s mobile application via a smartphone.

Outside of simply writing a number instead of sticking a stamp, the rest of the process is the same: mail that weighs less than 20 grams (the green stamp rate) will still arrive at its destination two days later.

La Poste is trying to modernise and adapt to the decline in paper mail: “18 billion letters ten years ago, 6 billion letters today,” said Collin. Thus, the company will invest €800 million by 2025 to accompany their modernisation, which will also involve providing assistance to the 13 million French people who have difficulty with digital technology.

Creating the digital stamp itself has been quite the innovative process – a team of a dozen researchers were involved in the process, which involved developing a “complex” algorithm to reduces fraudulent activity. 

But fear not – the paper stamp is not going to disappear. You’ll still be able to purchase and collect traditional stamps with France’s lovely lady, Marianne, on the front.