French media are reporting government sources saying that the reopening “definitely won't be on January 20th” after several ministers including Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said that the reopening could not be guaranteed.
A meeting of the Defence Council, which deals with health restrictions, has been scheduled for Monday.
Bars, cafés and restaurants in France have been closed since the second lockdown began on October 30th – and were closed for almost three months in the spring during the first lockdown. They are allowed to offer take-away services.
When the second lockdown was lifted on December 15th, a provisional schedule was laid out that included bars and restaurants reopening on January 20th.
However this was conditional on cases remaining under 5,000 a day, while at present they are averaging 15,000 a day.
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The reopening on museums, theatres, cinemas and cultural spaces was also pushed back to January 7th, but the government has said the current health circumstances have seen them forced to a further postpone the date.
“It will not be possible to reopen cultural establishments on January 7th because the virus is still circulating very rapidly in our country,” said government spokesperson Gabriel Attal on Friday during an interview with TF1.
Gabriel Attal 30/12/2020 BFMTV : «Il semble très peu probable que les établissements culturels puissent rouvrir le 7 janvier»
Gabriel Attal 01/01/2021 TF1 : «Il ne sera pas possible de rouvrir les établissements culturels au 7 janvier»
Ça c’est fait… Bonne Année… pic.twitter.com/WKEAbb7A9T
— Destination Ciné (@destinationcine) January 1, 2021
In the period between Christmas and New Year France tightened regulations in the east of the country, where case numbers have seen a worrying rise, by bringing the curfew forward from 8pm to 6am.
A press conference detailing the next stage of restrictions is expected in the first half of this week.