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03.11.2020 Europe

French government details products that can be sold during second lockdown

By Mike Woods with RFI
French government details products that can be sold during second lockdown
LISTEN NOV 3, 2020

France's government on Tuesday updated its conditions for businesses to continue selling products deemed to be essential during the new confinement declared to fight the second wave of Covid-19. Large retailers have until Wednesday to close off sections selling goods not on the list. 

New decrees have rounded out conditions for certain businesses to remain open and what kinds of products and services are allowed to be sold. 

As of Wednesday, shopping centres and large retailers were only permitted to sell food supplies, newspapers and stationary, construction and hardware material and hygenic and cleaning products. 

Those which remain open for business are required to keep track of the number of people inside and ensure no more than one customer for every 4 square metres of surface.  

The rules correspond to the government's strategy of maintaining economic activity while applying health restrictions on movement and interpersonal contact.

What remains open
In food supplies, grocers and markets remain open, including everything from large supermarkets to small corner shops. 

In agriculture, businesses dealing with rental, maintenance and repair of vehicles and machinery, products for livestock and cultivations. 

In construction, businesses dealing with rental, maintenance and repair of vehicles and machinery remain open, as do those dealing in construction material, hardware, painting and glass necessary for building and renovation. 

Large and small shops dealing in sales and repaires of computer, telephone and electronic technology remain open on the basis of the widespread dependence on information technology for working at home. 

Garages, mechanics and services assuring rentals, maintenance, repairs for motorised vehicles including cars and motorcycles as well as bicycles remain open, as do filling stations. 

Business dealing in textiles, newspapers and stationary, pharmeceuticals, optical equipment, animal care and tobacco products including electronic cigarettes are exempt from closing, as are financial and insurance brokers.

What must close
Bookshops, florists, ready-to-wear vendors, hairdressers and barbers, gyms and sport clubs, bars and real estate agencies are obliged to close, angering many shopkeepers who rely on the approaching holiday gift-buying season. 

The government has sought to maintain retail activity by allowing retailers to take orders online and allows customers to pick up goods at the store locations, without entering the buildings.  

Restaurants remain closed for dining in but are allowed to offer takeaway services. 

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