What if, with bad news chasing each other, restaurants, bistros and brasseries should not finally reopen before the beginning of April, that is to say in more than two - very long - months?
The announcement by the weekly Le Point - which evokes the date of April 6 - of such an eventuality caused a stir, this Wednesday, in the profession, although neither the government nor the main restaurateurs unions confirm this rumor.
Because, for Bercy, it is indeed a rumor.
"Pure speculation", we demean the cabinet of Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, where we recall that the veil has not yet been lifted on the content of the last Defense Council, and that 'it would be "complicated" to announce a reopening date for restaurateurs, even though the government has its eyes riveted on the epidemiological curves, and that the evolution of the English variant can change the situation very quickly in the weeks - even days?
- to come up.
"The date of April 6 is ridiculous", one concludes in the entourage of Bruno the Mayor.
On the government side, we therefore stick to the latest official statements, those of Jean Castex who, a week ago, referred to restaurants closed “at least until mid-February.
The government must already rule on ski resorts
Same denials on the Umih or GNI side, the two main unions in the profession.
"I am not commenting on a date that is not confirmed", indicates Didier Chenet, the president of the GNI, while a spokesperson for the Umih recalls that "yesterday in Bercy, our interlocutors did not want to 'move forward on a date so as not to disappoint us'.
The same specifies that "we ourselves have already put aside the whole month of February".
Choosing the right time, or the least bad, to announce new bad news… that is, in fact, the challenge of the days to come.
Because it is possible that this Thursday, the government is already obliged to announce the non-reopening of ski resorts for the February holidays (which runs until March 7).
A hell of a blow for the entire profession, and in particular for the professionals of these resorts, who would then experience a blank season.
Suddenly, is it appropriate to announce, on the same day, that the brasseries and restaurants, which already have six months of total closure, will remain, again and again, closed?
Isn't it better to wait and see how this famous variant will circulate before coming out of the woods?
At Easter, the French come in droves
All that being said, there is nothing crazy about April 6.
On BFM, Monday, the president of Toques Blanches Lyonnaises, Christophe Marguin, explained that the government had mentioned this date, just after the Easter weekend.
The idea would be to prevent too many people from crossing at the table during this weekend, during which the French are moving in droves.
Solicited, Marc Sanchez, the general secretary of the union of independents and very small businesses (SDI), confirms: “during meetings with Bercy, we heard about“ expected dates ”of reopening, which revolve around the end of March-beginning of April.
At the beginning of April seems to hold the rope ”.
Postponement of the reopening of restaurants: "I will have to lower the curtain"
"We will be particularly attentive to the continuation and the concrete implementation of the accompanying measures", he insists.
Restaurateur in Dardilly (Rhône), north of Lyon, Georgy Gouttes has also heard of the "April rumor": "we are still a little more downhearted, if it is possible", reacts this restaurateur who is Yet comes out better than his colleagues thanks to Click and Collect, but had to lay off two of his 7 employees since the 1st confinement.
The only small glimmer in this endless tunnel: "the aid allocated under the Solidarity Fund is now released quickly".