- Title: Paris bistros say "au revoir" to diners as gov't orders their closure
- Date: 15th March 2020
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (MARCH 15, 2020) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) BISTRO PIAF MANAGER PATRICK SANTOS SAYING GOODBYE TO DINERS, DINERS SAYING THANK YOU DINERS SAYING (French) "Goodbye", SANTOS SAYING (French): "Goodbye, take care." (SOUNDBITE) (French) MANAGER OF BISTRO PIAF, PATRICK SANTOS, 36 YEARS OLD, SAYING: "It's strange to say goodbye to clients as if we won't see each other again. It's rather particular. There are some who are almost sad, they're emotional, to see that everything will close, that Paris will be dead, lifeless, without the regular Parisian life - the stores, the events, culture. Everything will freeze, it will be very drearyâ€¦ But well, that's the way it is." SANTOS CLEANING TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (French) MANAGER OF BISTRO PIAF, PATRICK SANTOS, 36 YEARS OLD, SAYING: "Business-wise, it will be terrible because we had just opened two months ago. And we had a good launch, and this puts brakes on revenue growth, and we have to start all over again after this." VARIOUS OF SANTOS CLEANING TABLE EMPTY TABLES SANTOS TURNING OFF LIGHTS INSIDE RESTAURANT / INTERIOR IN DARKNESS SANTOS GOING OUT AND LOCKING RESTAURANT DOOR PARIS, FRANCE (MARCH 14, 2020) (REUTERS) DINERS AT OUTDOOR SEATING AREA IN CAFÃ‰ MONTPARNASSE WAITRESS SERVING DINERS EMPTY TABLES AND CHAIRS (SOUNDBITE) (French) CAFE MONTPARNASSE'S MANAGER JASON HOLT, CAFE MONTPARNASSE, 28 YEARS OLD, SAYING: "A bit shocked, yes, with what's happening. We expected it, but not that it would be so quick. And now we've just learned the news (of the government order to close restaurants), we have no choice. We have to deal with it. But yes, we're a little shocked. We'll find ourselves without jobs." HOLT SERVING DINERS STUDENTS NADIA ABD-ALI AND DALIA DUPONT LAUGHING AT TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (French) STUDENT NADIA ABD-ALI, 18 YEARS OLD, SAYING: "In the beginning, we were a bit depressed, because we didn't expect it at all (restaurant and store closures), but we said, 'Okay, today is our last night out.' Voila." COCKTAIL ABD-ALI DRINKING COCKTAIL (SOUNDBITE) (French) STUDENT DALIA DUPONT, 19 YEARS OLD, SAYING: "I don't see myself staying at home more than a month I think, and, like, everything will be closed and so on. So, it will be hard, we'll get bored a bit. But then I feel it is something that's needed to be done because we must prevent the coronavirus from spreading.'' VARIOUS OF DINERS AT RESTAURANT CHEZ PIERRICK CREPERIE WAITER ANTHONY DE ALBUQUERQUE AT CASH REGISTER EMPTY RESTAURANT (SOUNDBITE) (French) WAITER AT CHEZ PIERRICK, ANTHONY DE ALBUQUERQUE, 23 YEARS OLD, SAYING: ''It is quite complicated. We wonder what will happen to us. We are doing inventory because we have a lot of perishable produce and we wonder how long it (closures) will last because we don't know how long we will have to keep the produce in the fridge. One week, two weeks, one month, two months?'' EMPTY TABLE VARIOUS OF UGC FILM THEATRE MAN ENTERING THEATRE AND COMING OUT JUST AFTER SHUTTERED DOORS
- Keywords: COVID-19 cafes coronavirus outbreak restaurants social distancing virus
- Reuters ID: LVA001C55VK1Z
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:04:28
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: It was sentimental when restaurant manager Patrick Santos said goodbye to his customers around midnight, early on Sunday morning (March 15).
He shut the lights and locked the door at Bistro Piaf in Paris' Montparnasse neighbourhood, not knowing when they would re-open.
"It's strange to say goodbye to clients as if we won't see each other again," Santos said.
France will shut shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities from Sunday with its 67 million people told to stay home to help fight the rapid acceleration of the coronavirus in a country where the number of cases has doubled in 72 hours.
The government had no other option, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told a news conference after the public health authority said 91 people had died in France and almost 4,500 were now infected.
Businesses like Bistro Piaf will take a hit from the closures, and some restaurant workers are already worried about their livelihood.
"We expected it, but not that it would be so quick," said Jason Holt, 28, manager at the Cafe Montparnasse. "We're a little shocked. We'll find ourselves without jobs."
Philippe said the government had been left with no choice because too many people were still out in the streets and not sufficiently applying recently announced measures, including keeping a safe distance from each other. That, he said, was helping accelerate the spread of the virus.
Highlighting just that, many bars were still packed after Philippe's announcement and some reported a surge in attendance after the closure order became public, as revelers turned out for a last drink despite recommendations to avoid crowds.
"We were a little depressed because we didn't expect it, but we said, 'Okay, today is our last night out'," said 18-year-old student Nadia Abd-Ali, sipping a cocktail with her friend.
A waiter at the creperie Chez Pierrick was worried that produce will rot, as the duration of the closure was still undefined.
"One week, two weeks, one month, two months?" waiter Anthony de Albuquerque said.
Philippe announced that all non-essential locations will be ordered closed, notably cafes, restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs and shops.
(Production: Yonathan Van der Voort, Michaela Cabrera)
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