Inside spaces reopened this week, but it’s the relaxed rules on outdoor terraces that bar and restaurant owners feel will create a quintessentially Parisian summer vibe
On a normal weekend, rue d’Aligre, near Place de la Bastille in Paris’s 12th arrondissement, is lined with raucous fruit and vegetable stalls and packed with shoppers and tourists heading for the historic Marché d’Aligre at its northern end. But now the stalls of the covered market are gone – they’ve moved to the open square in front of the food hall for easier social distancing – and the street’s bistro and bar owners are busy setting out tables and chairs on the pavement and in parking places.
Until President Macron’s new announcement on 14 June of the opening up all of France from 15 June , Paris was classed as a zone orange, which meant restaurants and cafes could only serve customers outside. But Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has an election coming up on 28 June, delighted everyone except her rivals and motorist groups at the beginning of June by announcing a major relaxation of the rules on pavement terraces. And although cafes and restaurants can now reopen their inside spaces – albeit with reduced capacity due to social distancing regulations – Hidalgo has announced that the new terrace rules will last at least until the end of September.