Parisians enjoy taste of lockdown freedom ahead of Christmas

Parisians enjoy taste of lockdown freedom ahead of Christmas, while hospitality workers protest bar and restaurant ban set to last until January 20

  • Revellers enjoyed rides at Christmas Village at Hotel de Ville in Paris last night
  • But hospitality workers also protested in capital over festive season opening ban
  • Police officers also protested in streets of Paris over their working conditions  

Parisians last night enjoyed a taste of lockdown freedom ahead of Christmas, while hospitality workers took to the streets in protest at a festive season ban. 

In a Christmas Village at Hotel de Ville in the heart of the French capital last night, masked revellers were seen enjoying fairground rides and market stalls.

But while some enjoyed the festivities, just a short distance away, near the Arc de Triomphe, face mask-wearing police officers protested their working conditions.

Hospitality workers also protested a possible ban on reopening bars and restaurants until January 20.

It comes as France plans to ease measures from its second national lockdown today. 

Parisians last night enjoyed a taste of lockdown freedom ahead of Christmas, while hospitality workers took to the streets in protest at a festive season ban

In a Christmas Village at Hotel de Ville in the heart of the French capital last night, masked revellers were seen enjoying fairground rides and market stalls

It comes as France plans to ease measures from its second national lockdown today. Pictured: The Hotel de Ville in Paris

The bulk of lockdown restrictions are to be eased from today in France for the festive period, with cinemas reopening and general travel restrictions lifted.  

The measures, imposed in October, are being eased despite a rise in hospital admissions in recent days.

However the French government say they remain within the range deemed acceptable for easing the restriction.

Bars, restaurants, museums, theatres and cinemas must remain shut until least the first week of January.

The government has indicated that restaurants and bars might be allowed to reopen from January 20 if infections don’t surge again.

But the economy minister said Monday that he couldn’t guarantee that that date would hold. 

The warning last night sparked restaurant and bar owners, hoteliers, waitresses, and other employers and workers from France’s world-famous catering and service industries to protest in Paris for the right to work again during the pandemic.  

About 1,000 people protested in Paris, pleading for more financial aid and the right to reopen eateries and watering holes that have been forced to close to curb infections.

Among them, retired chef Michel Solignac fretted that the restaurant that he spent decades developing before handing it over to his son could go under if they can’t reopen soon.

‘We have to cling on,’ he said. ‘Psychologically, I don’t know how I would react if I was obliged to shut down. It really would hurt.’ 

Waitress Sandra Barbette said she desperately misses ‘the sharing, the conviviality’ of serving the regulars in her Paris restaurant shuttered like other French eateries and watering holes – except for takeout service – since October. 

It came as French police force members protested their working relations in a separate protest in Paris last night

The recurring allegations of racism and brutality against the police have become a major headache for French President Emmanuel Macron who recently announced plans for a summit in January on how to improve relations between the police and communities

‘Clients have sent me text messages to say, “We miss you,” Barbette says. ‘I love my job. I miss it so much.’

Restaurant and bar owners who are getting government aid said the payments are merely keeping them on life support, but nothing more. 

It came as French police force members protested their working relations in a separate protest in Paris last night.

The recurring allegations of racism and brutality against the police have become a major headache for French President Emmanuel Macron who recently announced plans for a summit in January on how to improve relations between the police and communities.  

Source: Read Full Article