The famous sidewalk cafés of Paris have spread out over adjoining sidewalks and streets as the city eases its pandemic restrictions, and both owners and patrons are happy with the expansion—but there are questions whether it can become permanent.
Space restrictions were eased to allow more customers while still maintaining social distancing. In the past, the cafés were known for tiny tables and tight spacing, but post-virus rules made that impossible. The city has allowed owners to file a declaration of the space they intend to use, post it, and use it. In addition to sidewalks and squares, some streets have been closed.
Surveys done by TheLocal.fr indicate that 75% or more of respondents would like the rule to become permanent, while others point out that it could cause problems for other stores, for cyclists and for traffic. In winter, heaters would be needed, and Paris is already under the gun to meet new pollution rules.
Newly-reelected Mayor Anne Hidalgo told a radio interviewer that she is "in favor of making this new freedom long lasting," but her press officer told The Local that "it is way too early to say if this scheme will be made permanent."