Commerce and Leisure protest in France

Discos and nightclubs have not reopened in France, but the workers have taken to the streets of Lyon to make their music and their claims before the French government heard.

Staff in restaurants, bars, clubs and event organizers have been out of work for months.

“We have not worked for a long time and we are going to try to make people understand that they are all essential”cries the Dj Budda, while playing his music before the crowd

Restaurants could reopen in the Gallic country at the end of January if the health situation improves, but many think that the restrictions are poorly managed.

“Just before the lockdown, I went to a restaurant where all sanitary regulations were applied, and I felt much safer than in supermarkets”, thinks Gilles Paris, winegrower who works for several restaurants.

The confinement and reduction of tourism is also affecting other establishments that do remain open, such as hotels, whose occupation barely reaches a quarter of their capacity.

“There is a general feeling of demotivation coupled with seeing your employees arrive at work with less motivation, so it is very difficult“, describe Fabrici Lipinski, director of a hotel in Lyon.

“We are essential”, this is the message that these restaurants, hotels and business owners want to convey. They criticize the “lack of help” from the government and also the attitude adopted by some insurers. ”

Some non-essential stores reopened in the Gallic country a week ago, but they still do not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“When you have stocks that are worth hundreds of thousands of euros and there is no income, not even 10,000 are enough to compensate for the losses”Anne tells us Delaigle, fashion designer in Lyon.

Another problem is that very few insurers have policies that cover a pandemic, and those that do always find some excuse for not paying or delaying payments, which has generated dozens of claims in court.

“It is clearly a lack of solidarity. They have asked us to close twice and the only ones who do not help are those we pay to protect us: the insurance companies.”adds Anne.

Insurers claim to have paid close to 4 billion euros in compensation, and foresee that the cost of the pandemic will be similar to that of the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States (4,700 million) or the hurricanes of 2017 (4,800 millions).