‘Covid terraces’ to become permanent fixtures this summer in Paris
Last year, makeshift terraces sprang up on many cafes across Paris, allowing COVID-wary patrons to be served outdoors. Now, city hall has announced these ‘Covid terraces’ will become a permanent fixture in the French capital this summer.
In response to the impact of the pandemic on beleaguered restaurant and café owners who were no longer allowed to serve indoors, the city of Paris turned over thousands of parking spaces to enable establishments to continue serving drinks and food outdoors.
Many establishment owners invested in high-quality structures in the spaces, which are still usable today. Terraces will have to remain without closed walls and plants and other greenery will be encouraged. "Roofs, tarps, reception tents, wooden pallets and advertising will be prohibited," the deputy mayor in charge of commerce, Olivia Polski, told AFP.
There will also be a requirement for them to shut down by 10:00pm, so that local residents won’t be disturbed by any noise.
The city will hold an annual contest for the most attractive designs, a move clearly aimed at encouraging aesthetically pleasing structures.
Outdoor seating can also be extended on adjacent squares and sidewalks, and also in front of neighbouring businesses, providing they give approval.
No heating or music systems will be allowed, and Polski said the city would step up deployments of specially developed "Meduse" microphones for pinpointing the sources of noise pollution across the city.
Outdoor drinking and dining resumed across France last month as France emerged from its third wave of coronavirus cases, a huge relief for restaurants and bars closed since last October.
On Wednesday, restaurants and cafés will be allowed to start serving indoors and the nationwide curfew will be pushed back to 11:00 pm, which is expected to further swell the summer sidewalk crowds.
*Image: Lucas BARIOULET AFP/File