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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


French economy minister ‘worried’ by British ‘disaster’

France's economy minister said Friday that he was worried by the financial turbulence in Britain, criticising Prime Minister Liz Truss's economic policies for causing a "disaster" of high borrowing rates for her country.

French economy minister 'worried' by British 'disaster'

“I’m not worried about the situation in the eurozone,” Bruno Le Maire told Europe 1 radio when asked about the risk of the crisis spreading. “On the other hand, I am worried about the British situation.”

“What does it show? It shows firstly that there are costs for financial and economic policies,” he said.

Truss’s “mini-budget” announced last Friday included major tax cuts that would need to be financed by extra borrowing, spooking investors who immediately questioned the credibility of the policies and Britain’s financial standing.

“When you take on major costs like that, with spectacular announcements, as some opposition parties want to do in France, it perturbs the markets. It perturbs financial balances,” Le Maire said.

“And it leads to a real disaster with interest rates which are 4.5 percent or even higher in Great Britain. We have interest rates which are reasonable, which are quite close to Germany’s because there is consistency in our economic and financial policymaking,” he said.

“The second thing is that leaving Europe comes with a considerable cost because Europe is a protection,” he added, referring to Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The pound fell to an all-time low against the dollar and the yield on 10-year British government bonds — which sets the cost of borrowing for the government — briefly rose to above 4.5 percent on Wednesday.

That led the Bank of England to intervene with a £65 billion emergency bond-buying programme to stabilise the market.

Le Maire has been under pressure this week to explain his own budget choices, with the government planning to borrow a record €270 billion next year and a run a deficit of 5.0 percent of GDP.

Some analysts see the deficit as likely to be higher because of Le Maire’s optimistic growth forecast for the economy and assumptions about savings from a controversial pensions reform that has not been passed by parliament.

French-British relations have been rocky for years, particularly under former prime minister Boris Johnson, with a host of issues souring ties from Brexit and fishing rights to migrants.

French ministers had been reluctant to comment on Truss since she came to power despite deep concerns about her Brexit policies and her statement while campaigning that she did not know if French President Emmanuel Macron was a “friend or foe.”