Expanded café terraces to return to Paris this summer

Expanded café terraces to return to Paris this summer
Paris will be keeping its expanded café terraces this summer. Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP
Parisians will once again be able to enjoy expanded terraces when restaurants, cafés and bars are finally allowed to reopen - possibly from mid-May.

Around 8,000 bars, restaurants and cafés in the capital were allowed to stretch their outdoor terraces onto the pavement or the street in the summer of 2020 to allow more outdoor socialising.

The changes proved hugely popular, and were extended until June 2021.

Now, discussions are taking place between the town hall, local residents, and café and restaurant owners about a possible prolongation for the whole summer period.

“The stakeholders will participate in brainstorming sessions with regards to the look, the accessibility, security, cleanliness and potential problems related to shop displays and terraces,” Olivia Polski, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of commerce, told Le Parisien.

There will, however, be one difference this time around, according to Le Parisien: if bars and restaurants wish to occupy parking spaces as they did last summer, they will now have to pay.

The government is expected to lay out a more detailed plan for reopening in the coming days, with ‘mid May’ frequently touted as a date for reopening non-essential shops plus the outdoor areas of some cafés, bars and restaurants.

READ ALSO Curfew, shops, cafés and cinemas – what will France’s reopening look like?

However, while visiting a primary school in the Seine-et-Marne départment on Monday, President Emmanuel Macron warned that the re-opening of bars and restaurants will be done on a regional basis.

He confirmed that the government hopes terraces will be able to open again in mid-May in areas where the virus is under control.

“I don’t think we will be able to open restaurants in, say, late May or in June, in départments where the virus is circulating quickly,” Macron told journalists.

“But in others, where [the circulation] has fallen a lot, I think we’ll have to open them.” 

With some of the highest Covid rates in the country, Paris would be unlikely to be in the first phase for reopening.

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Bars, cafés and restaurants in France will be hoping to use the summer period to make up for lost revenue, having been closed since October 29th 2020.

Parisians are not the only ones who will be able to make the most of outdoor dining this summer.

In Strasbourg, the town hall has already announced that restaurant owners will be allowed to request to double the size of their terraces in order to respect social distancing guidelines and many other towns are eyeing similar measures.


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