French ministers 'risk jail to go to dinners' despite lockdown rules

French ministers ‘are among guests risking jail to attend £400 champagne and caviar dinners at private club in Paris’ in defiance of lockdown rules

  • Astonishing claim is made in a film shot in Paris by undercover investigators  
  • A waiter says: ‘Once you pass through the door there’s no more Covid’  
  • Comes as France is struck with 60,000 new cases of Covid every day

French government ministers are among those risking prison by attending secret £400 plus champagne-and-caviar dinners that break the Coronavirus lockdown rules, according to a shock new report.

The astonishing claim is made in a film shot in Paris by undercover investigators from the M6 news channel.

‘Once you pass through the door there’s no more Covid,’ a waiter tells them as they enter an unidentified venue in the centre of the French capital.

French government ministers are among those risking prison by attending secret £400 plus champagne-and-caviar dinners that break the Coronavirus lockdown rules, according to a shock new report

The astonishing claim is made in a film shot in Paris by undercover investigators from the M6 news channel

‘We want people to feel at ease. It’s a private club, we want people to feel like they’re at home,’ he adds.

It comes as President Emmanuel Macron’s government deals with the coronavirus pandemic that includes up to 60,000 new cases of the disease in France every day.

The menu for an evening meal starts at £136 (€160) per diner and then rises to £416 (€490) for a feast that includes a shared bottle of Champagne and caviar.

This is despite restaurants, cafés and bars all being shut in Paris since last year so as to combat the spiralling Covid-19 rates.

Intensive care units are currently overwhelmed by more than 1,500 patients in the Paris region put in a life-threatening condition by the disease.

When approached, the unidentified organiser of the Paris dinner said the practice was ‘very usual, and ‘I’ve eaten at two or three restaurants this week.’


‘Once you pass through the door there’s no more Covid,’ a waiter tells them as they enter an unidentified venue in the centre of the French capital

He said he was aware of VIPs including government ministers booking a table, adding: ‘We’re still a democracy, we do what we want’.

Lawyers, showbiz celebrities, and leading business people are also said to be enjoying the secret meals, at lunchtime and in the evening.

Last Thursday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex told MPs in parliament that that anyone who was ‘likely to endanger the life of others’ by hosting illegal parties faced a year in prison, and a fine of up to £12,750 (€15,000)

‘Prosecutors will be asked to systematically prosecute perpetrators who organise secret events likely to endanger the lives of others,’ he said.

According to figures from the French Interior Ministry, police have prevented 326 illegal events that break the Coronavirus lockdown from being held since January 1.

Mr Castex also ‘asked the Minister of the Interior to increase the number of police and gendarmes assigned to this task.’ 

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