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IN PICTURES: Café culture returns to Paris streets – at a safe distance

A man walks past tables and chairs installed on a terrace with social distancing signs on the pavement at a restaurant in Paris as restaurants and cafes reopen on 2 June, 2020.
A man walks past tables and chairs installed on a terrace with social distancing signs on the pavement at a restaurant in Paris as restaurants and cafes reopen on 2 June, 2020. © Reuters/Benoit Tessier
3 min

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.

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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.  

Social distancing signs are seen on the pavement near tables and chairs on a terrace of a restaurant in Paris as restaurants and cafes reopen in Paris on 2 June, 2020.
Social distancing signs are seen on the pavement near tables and chairs on a terrace of a restaurant in Paris as restaurants and cafes reopen in Paris on 2 June, 2020. © Reuters/Benoît Tessier
Waiters prepare the terrace of a restaurant in order to respect distancing measures in Paris, as France gradually lifts its Covid-19 lockdown.
Waiters prepare the terrace of a restaurant in order to respect distancing measures in Paris, as France gradually lifts its Covid-19 lockdown. © AP/Christophe Ena
Women sit in Café Français near Bastille, as restaurants and cafes reopen following the coronavirus outbreak, Paris on 2 June, 2020.
Women sit in Café Français near Bastille, as restaurants and cafes reopen following the coronavirus outbreak, Paris on 2 June, 2020. © Reuters/Christian Hartmann
Customers sit at the terrasse of a restaurant in Paris on June 2, 2020, as cafes and restaurants reopen in France, while the country eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Customers sit at the terrasse of a restaurant in Paris on June 2, 2020, as cafes and restaurants reopen in France, while the country eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of Covid-19. AFP - PHILIPPE LOPEZ
A waiter works the terrasse of the Cafe de Flore in Paris on June 2, 2020.
A waiter works the terrasse of the Cafe de Flore in Paris on June 2, 2020. AFP - MARTIN BUREAU
Customers have lunch on a terrace of a restaurant on the Champs Elysees in Paris on 2 June 2020.
Customers have lunch on a terrace of a restaurant on the Champs Elysees in Paris on 2 June 2020. © Reuters/Benoit Tessier
Poeple eat and drink at the terrace of the restaurant Le Compat in Paris on June 2, 2020.
Poeple eat and drink at the terrace of the restaurant Le Compat in Paris on June 2, 2020. AFP - BERTRAND GUAY
Restaurant Le Compat in Paris on June 2, 2020.
Restaurant Le Compat in Paris on June 2, 2020. AFP - BERTRAND GUAY
A waiter takes the order of a customer at the terrasse of a restaurant in Paris on June 2, 2020.
A waiter takes the order of a customer at the terrasse of a restaurant in Paris on June 2, 2020. AFP - PHILIPPE LOPEZ
A waiter wearing a face mask serves customers at Cafe de Flore, in Paris on 2 June, 2020.
A waiter wearing a face mask serves customers at Cafe de Flore, in Paris on 2 June, 2020. © Reuters/Christian Hartmann

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