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Will a mask be needed to visit a café in France?

Must we wear a mask to go into a café or restaurant? What are the new rules for eating venues in France when they reopen?

Bars and restaurants will reopen on June 2, it was announced last night, although for a few areas this is only possible if they have a terrace as clients will not be allowed to eat inside.

In areas classified as orange, in Ile-de-France and the overseas areas of Mayotte and French Guiana, venues will only be able to open if they have a terrace whereas in green departments, which is all of the rest of France, customers will be able to eat and drink inside if they so wish.

In all cases, wearing a mask will be mandatory for staff and customers when they walk into and around the restaurant (they can take it off once seated in order to eat).

A minimum distance of one metre between tables must also be respected. Tables will be limited to a maximum of 10 people.

Drinking at the bar if you are not seated will not be permitted; people will not be allowed to stand to drink or eat at bars.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said: “Given the evolution of the health crisis, restaurants, bars and cafés will be able to reopen in all departments from June 2. But with a temporary vigilance in the departments still in orange (...) only terraces will be able to open. This is a restriction that will have consequences, but it seemed to us that it was the right measure to take, at least for the next three weeks.”

The prime minister said it was important to reopen bars, cafes and restaurants as they are such an integral part of French life.

He said: “It is a sector of great importance for the economy, for employment, and it is also a sector that must be recognised and celebrated as part of our way of life, for living together, collectively.”

Related articles:

France's restaurants can reopen from June 2

Covid-19: What reopens in France from June 2

When do I need to wear a mask?

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