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How shops and terraces are preparing to reopen – Coronavirus


At the foot of Quimper cathedral, the rue du Frout resumed a semblance of life on Friday, the day after the announcement of the conditions for the resumption of activity for bars and restaurants. Brush in hand, Marie Lavergne smiles: “We will finally be able to work again. It was time ”, launches the young woman, deprived of activity since the announcement, by Emmanuel Macron, of the closure of bars and restaurants, last October. Le Troquet has not been able to reopen for seven months.

In these conditions, the reopening of the terraces on May 19, is the little light at the end of the tunnel that Hubert Jan had been waiting for for several months. The restaurateur from Finistère, president of the Union and trades in the hotel industry (Umih) for catering, wants to be confident. “One of the main positive points is that the government respected the three-week notice period that we had requested”, underlines the restaurant owner of Fouesnant. Time to prepare for the restart of activities but above all to recruit staff. “So far, seasonal workers have not applied. They needed this visibility on the reopening to reconnect, ”said the spokesperson for French restaurateurs.

Restaurants could wait until June 9

The announcement of a reopening of the terraces and the postponement of the curfew to 9 p.m., from May 19, will not result in a resumption of activity by all the restaurants. Establishments could wait until June 9 and a later curfew to open under more favorable economic conditions. “Closing at 9 pm does not allow two services in the evening; the economic model of many restaurants, ”emphasizes Hubert Jan, who does not see his employees come back under these conditions.

In the aftermath of the President’s announcements, there are still many questions. Including for coffee makers. Rue du Frout, in Quimper, Marie Lavergne is also worried about the profitability of the family café that she runs with her father: “We have a terrace in front of the bar and a second on the other side of the street, at the foot of Cathedral. But we are waiting to know the precise sanitary restrictions, because I am not sure how we will manage a half-terrace if there is no more help. “

The evolution of the pandemic in question

Mixed, the traders, who demanded a recovery on May 10, are also. For shopping centers closed since February 1, the announcement of the resumption of activity is a relief coupled with a concern related to the development of the health crisis synonymous with a possible brake on the lifting of restrictions. “Especially since the first euros of aid will not be affected until June,” said Emmanuel Le Roch, president of Procos, the federation for town planning and the development of specialized trade.

In Lorient, Danielle Chiavorano, the president of the Compagnie des Commerce which brings together around a hundred shops, is expecting difficult months. “Even if the welfare state has played its role, the difficulty, for the true independents, will be to manage the stocks which have accumulated since the winter”, she underlines, evoking the particular situation of the sellers of clothes. and especially shoes, sometimes forced to find storage solutions outside their shops.

Many questions still arise, under these conditions: starting with a possible shift in sales dates and the maintenance of the summer clearance sale.

Patrons of discos waiting

The 150,000 “non-essential” businesses that can reopen on May 19 are expecting difficult months. A situation which raises the question, for the president of Procos, of the possibility of opening on Sundays in May and June.

Opening, it is for the moment still not question for the owners of discotheque. Closed for more than a year, nightclubs are still deprived of prospects and expect another summer without sound. “We are on a break which is costing us dearly,” recalls Franck Haugomarch, president of the “night world” section of Umih des Côtes-d’Armor. The owner of the Thalys club in Yffiniac is worried about the possibility, for the profession, of finding its employees, once the takeover has been announced.

In difficulty since the first months of closure, the largest establishments do not benefit from assistance adapted to their costs. Their bosses are waiting in turn for a reopening date.

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