Deconfinement: under what conditions will bars and restaurants reopen?

It is called deconfinement protocol or code of good health conduct, and it is the 10-page document, negotiated hard by industry professionals and being validated by the government, that cafes, hotels and restaurants will have to follow in order to reopen their doors, from June 2 in green areas, they hope. This Thursday, the Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe, should clarify the contours of the second phase of deconfinement, and decide on the question of the reopening of the hotel and catering industry, which has been almost completely stopped since mid-March, with the exception of of a few nights in a hotel and take-away sales.

The idea of ​​this protocol is to standardize practices and reassure the some million employees in the sector as well as, of course, customers. It specifies how the personnel must proceed “in each zone of the establishment”. Everywhere, there will be distribution of gel, marking on the ground, and direction of traffic, in order to respect the rules of social distancing. Reservations will be preferred, as well as all contactless payments (by bank card, QR code on the phone or bank transfer).

One meter between each table, redesigned buffets

Customers will be asked to wear a mask except when they are at the table. The distance should ultimately be one meter between each table: the profession has obtained that the government does not impose the ratio of one person per 4 m2, as is currently done in companies. If this distance cannot be respected, screens must be placed between the tables. And the tables will only be served by one person at the same time. Note for groups that there can be no more than 10 people per table, knowing each other beforehand (friends, families).

One point still remained under discussion this Wednesday, and was to be decided by the government: at the counter, in cafes, should a protective screen be installed between the bartender and the client, as provided for in the protocol? “We are against it, because if there is already a distance of one meter between the bartender (who will wear a mask or even a visor as we recommend) and the client, the screen is not necessary”, believes Didier Chenet, President of GNI-Synhorcat (which represents 30% of the profession).

The buffets and banquets will be redesigned: limitation of the number of simultaneous customers, marking on the ground, forward march, etc. It would also be desirable “to avoid presentations of bulk food, and to prefer unit presentations,” suggests the High Council for Public Health.

Priority to slate

It is – almost – the end of the paper menus, which will have to be little used, and will become disposable. The menus will in fact be more or more presented in the form of a slate, kept by the employee, or orally, or via a QR code read by the customer on his phone. Plastic menus will be cleaned with each use.

Room and catering staff must wear a mask and wash their hands at least once an hour. At the counter, the bartender will also wear a mask. In the kitchens, employees will definitely wear a charlotte, an appropriate mask, and wash their hands at least once every 30 minutes.

Hydroalcoholic gel terminals will of course be placed at the entrance. Fans will not be used and confined spaces should be ventilated. Products delivered from outside will be cleaned in a dedicated area before being stored. Finally, each restaurant must specify the name of a Covid-19 representative responsible for ensuring compliance with all these rules.

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