Macron: opening restaurants and bars is possible ‘under certain conditions’

Macron: opening restaurants and bars  is possible ‘under certain conditions’

Restaurants such as Plongeoir could be re-opening soon if the gradual relaxation of lockdown remains on course.  (Robert Luckock)

 

MARIGOT--President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron has hinted that restaurants and bars in St. Martin could soon open providing “certain conditions” are in place.

  The Collectivité reported that Macron had responded “favourably” during a remote virtual meeting to President Gibbs’ urgent request to allow restaurants, bars and shops to open as soon as possible, from May 11. 

  Gibbs informed Macron there is a grave risk of St. Martin businesses finding themselves in serious difficulties, possibly unable to overcome this crisis, unless they are allowed to open.

  What the conditions for opening will be is not yet known, but Gibbs indicated safety measures for shops and restaurants will be put in place very soon.

  The video conference with President Macron took place Thursday and was attended by the Préfèts, Presidents of overseas regions and Collectivités.  Each territory was asked to give a situation report and express its needs from the State in terms of health, social and economic matters. Assessing the COVID-19 crisis in each territory and examining together the challenges of exiting lockdown from May 11 were also discussed.

  Gibbs requested that the partial activity scheme be extended until the end of December 2020 to save jobs and support businesses that will have to wait until the next tourist season to be able to restart their activity in a satisfactory manner. Macron took this into consideration for the overseas territories and announced that a specific scheme should be created to help them rebuild their businesses.

  Gibbs reiterated his concerns about the reopening of schools and called on the government to deploy the necessary means for this recovery. He confirmed that consultation meetings with education officials and parents’ associations had been held locally and would continue until an agreed decision is reached by May 11.

  On the economy he also highlighted the key areas of focus to protect businesses and save jobs.