Restaurant owners in France are becoming increasingly desperate about the lockdown that has closed their businesses and threatens the future of many of them after lockdown is lifted.

Hopes that cafes, bars and restaurants would be able to open again on December 1 have been dashed in recent days by a number of official announcements from Paris.

It seems that so-called non-essential shops will be given the green light ahead of the hospitality sector, although there’s no certainty they will open at the start of December, and now even December 15 as a date for restaurants to restart operations seems increasingly unrealistic for the beleaguered trade.

There has even been talk of a restart as late as the beginning of February, as the Prime Minister promotes a policy of not ending lockdown “too soon,” as he claimed happened earlier this year. In the meantime, takeaway business will not be enough to keep restaurants afloat as rent bills mount and staff look for jobs elsewhere in a battered economy.

The country will know more when President Macron addresses the nation on television next week, and in the meantime all the restaurant owners can do is gnash their teeth in anger and hope that their emblematic sector will be given more care and attention.

FILE PHOTO: People watch French President Emmanuel Macron on a TV screen in a restaurant in Paris (when they were still open) as the French leader addresses the nation about the state of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier