France has announced a ban on heated terraces for cafes and bars, infuriating some Parisans in the process.
The ban comes amid a broad range of measures designed to protect the environment, with France’s Ecology Minister Barbara Pompili calling outdoor heating an “ecological aberration.”
The ban is set to come into force after winter, to give France’s hospitality sector time to adapt.
From then onwards, “All heated or air-conditioned buildings open to the public will also have to keep their doors closed to avoid wasting energy,” the BBC reports.
France bans outdoor heaters on terraces 👏👏👏 https://t.co/4oiUxve0Qn
— Christian Robert (@fidus) July 28, 2020
Some French cities had already banned outdoor heaters. In Paris, however, where more than 75% of restaurants and cafes have a heated terrace, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo had previously refused to make the change, saying it would hurt business.
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While the English speakers of Twitter have broadly applauded the ban, numerous Parisians have criticised it. One “Parisienne Urbaine Raconteuse” said the ban shows a government disconnected from the reality of the French people.
Un gouvernement déconnecté de la réalité des Français !
Entre une @barbarapompili qui veut interdire le chauffage extérieur sur les terrasses des bars et une @CoDubost qui se bat pour la #PMA, ces 2 femmes n’ont aucun sens des priorités pour la vie des Français !#Incompetence pic.twitter.com/9sIbCE8pN3
— Juliette (@JulietteEtVous) July 28, 2020
Another wrote, “another gadget of the ecologists who want to kill the Parisian economy.”
Encore des gadgets d’écologistes qui vont tuer l’économie parisienne !
— Yves Pozzo di Borgo (@YvesPDB) July 27, 2020
Others pointed out the impracticalities of the other methods of keeping warm, particularly in a time of crisis (“you’d share a blanket in a time of coronavirus?”)…
Se partager un plaid en période de corona virus ? pic.twitter.com/KJXMxnAmws
— Telperien (@Embleons) July 28, 2020
… and asked if it’s necessary to destroy “everything the French economy rests upon.”
Another protested the simple curtailing of freedom: “The upcoming ban on outdoor heating of terraces is both a serious and grotesque mistake… It is forbidden to forbid.”
On the other side of the coin, many backed the ban, urging smokers and cafe patrons to “put on a jumper.”
mettez un pull
— Ginut50 (@ginut50) July 27, 2020
It’s not the first norm change of 2020, and as many other capital cities around the world reconsider how they want their city centers to look post-COVID, it probably won’t be the last.