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02.06.2020 Europe

Café culture returns to Paris streets – at a safe distance (in pictures)

© Reuters/Benoit Tessier
LISTEN JUN 2, 2020
© Reuters/Benoit Tessier

After months of eerie emptiness, the French capital is again abuzz, lined with its iconic terrace chairs and tables, the smell of café and croissant in the air. The partial reopening of bars and restaurants has brought colour back to Paris' streets, with terraces allowed to expand further than usual, but social distancing remains the norm.

The Paris City Hall authorised the opening of outside seating areas from 2 June, but the interiors of all cafés, bars and restaurants will remain closed to customers until at least 22 June.

Dampening the mood of newfound freedom, social distancing of one meter between tables is obligatory, which, along with an earlier closing time of 10pm, is feared may drastically reduce business.

But terraces have steadily filled as Parisians accustom themselves to a new café culture.  

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