Olivier Véran’s announcements on the evening of Wednesday 23 September caused a wave of discontent, even anger in Marseille, and more widely in all the cities and sectors affected by the new restrictions in the fight against Covid-19.
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“Once again, our territory is singled out”, protested Thursday, September 24 the first deputy mayor of Marseille Benoît Payan, speaking on behalf of the mayor, Michèle Rubirola, recovering after an operation. “We ask the government 10 days before the implementation of new measures”, he added, denouncing a « affront » after the announcement “Without consultation” of “Incredible restrictions”, the strongest since the end of confinement on May 11.
Total closure of bars and restaurants in the maximum alert zone
This reaction follows the classification of the metropolis of Aix-Marseille and Guadeloupe in “Maximum alert zone”, last level before the state of health emergency, according to the new classification of the authorities. Consequently, bars and restaurants will have to close completely from Saturday September 26, as well as all “Establishments open to the public”, except those who have a “Strict sanitary protocol”, such as theaters, museums or cinemas.
These decisions, “Which I measure the scope for the Marseillais, aim precisely to protect them while all health indicators are very degraded”, assured Wednesday evening the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, on Twitter. “To consult does not necessarily mean to come to an agreement, at some point the principle of responsibility must prevail”, he developed Thursday morning during his hearing by the Senate commission of inquiry into the health crisis.
He can still count on the support of Gilles Pialoux, head of the infectious diseases department at Tenon hospital in Paris. According to him, these “War measures” aim to avoid “Return to the situation of March-April”. And he adds, “We will have to stop reproducing the OM-PSG clash permanently”.
From Marseille to Paris, the discontent spreads
But the discontent is not limited to Marseille. Bars and restaurants will have to close at 10 p.m. from Monday, September 28 in the eleven metropolises in “Enhanced alert zone”, level just below the“Maximum alert” : Paris, Lille, Toulouse, Saint-Étienne, Rennes, Rouen, Grenoble, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Lyon and Nice.
“It is an unfair decision on the part of the government which only seeks to try to hide its inability to manage the crisis”, said Franck Trouet, spokesperson for the GNI employers’ union, which represents the self-employed in the hotel and restaurant industry. “It is counterproductive: by closing our establishments at 10 pm we are pushing our customers to party elsewhere: the beaches and riversides while the weather is good, and tomorrow the private apartments”, he judged.
“This situation is absolutely unacceptable and unfair and we demand an immediate withdrawal of these measures”, added Roland Héguy, president of Umih, the main union in the hotel, cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs sector. “Our profession is used each time as an adjustment variable in this crisis, even though it is constantly working on health protocols and the increase in contamination is above all the product of spontaneous gatherings in all the cities. “ Received Thursday morning by the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire in Bercy, professionals are asking for new public aid for their establishments.
Paris PS mayor Anne Hidalgo also said Thursday that the closure of bars at 10 p.m. and gyms in the capital were measures “Difficult to understand” and irrelevant, and said he protested to the government and the prefect.
“I was called by (the Minister of Health) Olivier Véran about an hour before his intervention on television (Wednesday evening) and by the prefect of police to whom I said my disagreement with the measures that were envisaged and the need for another method “, she explained to France 3 during a trip to Le Havre. She insists by explaining “How to understand that there is a relaxation of the sanitary protocol in the schools on one side and that on the other side in Paris it is necessary to close the bars at 10 pm? “