Mayors ask Castex for a “gradual reopening” of shops

The Association of Mayors of France believes that some businesses are able to apply a strict health protocol reinforced to welcome the public again.

The Association of Mayors of France (AMF) asked Prime Minister Jean Castex “the gradual reopening“Local shops, whose closure during the reconfinement is criticized by many elected officials, in a letter made public on Wednesday.

«We believe it is desirable to initiate a gradual reopening of local non-food stores.», Wrote the president of the AMF François Baroin to the head of government. According to Mr. Baroin, this procedure “would avoid a massive return of customers to these establishments as the Christmas holidays approach, when it becomes inevitable to allow the resumption of their activity».

In its proposals to Mr. Castex, the AMF notably cites bookstores, florists, hairdressing salons and the clothing sector “who are able to apply a reinforced strict sanitary protocol and welcome the public again“. The association also asks “to financially support collective online platform solutions, supported by associations of traders, local authorities and consular chambers, since the start of this crisis».

After the closure of small businesses deemed non-essential, the AMF had already written to the Prime Minister to “reconsider the opening authorization system“. She then asked “clarify the rules, re-establish a principle of equity between the various economic players concerned and preserve the future of many small businesses already weakened by the first confinement», Recalled its president. The decision to close the small businesses had aroused much criticism from the mayors, a hundred of them going so far as to publish municipal by-laws to keep them open.

Cities of France, another association of elected officials, also wrote to the Prime Minister to ask him to reopen small businesses. According to participants at the majority breakfast on Tuesday, Mr. Castex did not rule out a reopening on November 27. A decision will be made “next week“, Said government spokesman Gabriel Attal.

The government currently provides for the possibility of a reopening on Tuesday, December 1, if the Covid-19 epidemic continues to develop favorably. But the executive is at the same time facing the pressing demands of traders, supported by elected officials, in favor of a reopening from November 27, the day of Black Friday. An acceleration also pushed by the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire.

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