Paris lives an unprecedented summer, without foreign tourists for the first time in decades

The few open bars on the Champs Elysées are deserted, with waiters on the sidewalk inviting you to have a coffee inside. A desolation. In the Art Deco corner of Louis Vuitton there is only one row of French people, who visit this icon of luxury for the first time in their life. Not a Japanese or Chinese in sight. Bicycles reign without rules in Paris. Bicyclists insult pedestrians and have monumental fights with taxi drivers and motorists. The middle police. It is the greatest stress in a city empty of tourists, almost unreal, and with only 30 percent of its hotels open. August will not be the same in Paris after the coronavirus and with the threat of a second wave, which may come in full European summer vacation. Without Asians, without Americans, without Brazilians, Paris is today for the Parisians and the French, who have flooded the traditional terraces of restaurants and cafes and enjoy the sun, the reunions, mostly without masks to protect them, and without social distance. It is as if the virus that quarantined them and froze their lifestyle had not existed this summer, when the thermometer is at 40 degrees and tolerating the mouth cap becomes unbearable. Only used by the vulnerable or where it is mandatory, such as in supermarkets, banks, establishments and hospitals. A row in front of the Louis Vuitton store in Paris this Friday. / Noel Smart Those who win and those who loseThe restaurant Grand Coeur, by the French-Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco, was overflowing with people on Thursday night. Due to the obligatory social distance between table and table, your terrace now completely occupies the magnificent Cours de la Dance in Marais. Neither the models of the Fashion Show nor the Japanese with their guide in hand who take selfies with the dishes. It was a cloud of Parisians, who savored the traditional Souris d´agneau and white chocolate with yogurt and passion fruit, in an Xlarge space. Its history and that of its staff was what the pandemic produced in every restaurant in Paris. Nino, the Italian chef, managed to land in Palm Beach to open Mauro’s other restaurant shortly before the virus. Juan and Facundo, Colombian and Cordovan respectively, arrived as new chefs and were confined for two months. Like the waiters: Martín, the agricultural engineer, who could not return to Argentina and was able to live in Pablo’s house, another of them, because his Chilean wife was stranded for four months in Santiago. Bicycles and skateboards take place in Paris, with streets closed to traffic as part of the restrictions by Covid-19./ Noel Smart Life with the virus. They now expect the economy to take off and the coronavirus not to return, when French GDP has fallen 13.8 percent in the second quarter. A record without equal. The Café Flore, where all French intellectuals and politicians meet, is only for Parisians in these times. They are not disturbed by American tourists claiming sandwich club or Chinese. Their tables extend over the entire path to the bookstore, until three months after the pandemic, in a graceful concession from the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, to help merchants in their economic crisis. But ecology will ban gas heaters from sidewalks in winter. “Is he going to force us to close?” Asked the waiter at Café Flore. Opposite, the Armani café is closed, as is the traditional Lipp brasserie, on whose door two homeless people sleep. On St Germain boulevard feel the crisis: there are businesses that will not reopen. From cafes to art galleries, restaurants and architectural studios. Few people in front of the Louvre Museum, in Paris, this Friday. In the middle of the European summer, foreign tourists disappeared from the French capital./ BLOOMBERG France is a country that receives 60 million tourists a year. They have disappeared. Its thermometer is the Champs Elysées, a wasteland. Le Fouquet’s, the hotel and brasserie destroyed by the Yellow Vests and rebuilt, has closed again Cartie has just reopened now George X, the cafe on the avenue, is deserted “It has been very difficult and we had some support to resist. Many will not be able to reopen. Notice: not an American, not a Chinese, not a Arabic only g entity of the banlieu (the suburbs) that arrives by train to walk along the avenue. We do not live without tips ”, admits the waiter while inviting the few who walk to have a coffee on the desolate terrace. Never seen on the most beautiful avenue in the world. Two Ferrari Testarosa wait for a tourist who never arrives in front of the closed Fouquets. For half an hour and at 160 euros, they felt they belonged to an unreachable world. “We haven’t seen a tourist in months. The French are not interested in this walk ”, admits one of his drivers. See also Second wave? Few listen to the alert of the French health minister Oliver Véran, who recommends the use of masks to all, to avoid a restart of infections. “France is not in a second wave of the coronavirus but we must not allow it now,” he asked. He called to respect the so-called “barrier gestures”: chinstraps, washing hands, the gel. “The French have lived through extreme months. They need to rest, take distance. But we cannot allow the virus to come back now. The work that has been done by the French, which has saved so many lives, must continue this summer, even when we are fed up, when we are with friends, with families, ”asked the minister. ”The WHO recognizes after a few days that there is a serious risk of airborne transmission of the virus. If there is a concentration of people, I recommend the use of masks, “said the minister. Inhabitants of Paris enjoy the sun in a public park, / Noel Smart The concern is natural. There are emerging “clusters”, which are red flags in some hospitals, with a tendency to increase the number of admissions. There is an increase in positive tests and there have been a number of diagnoses among the youngest, which is disturbing. While no one wants to reconfine, no one rules out any extreme measures if needed. No vacation An OpinionWay poll says 54 percent of the French have not planned a summer vacation this year. Seven out of ten million French people decided not to take vacations until now. They did not go to the interior of France, nor to the coast nor to other countries. They stayed at home, trying to lead a normal life, reuniting with friends or visiting their family and keeping their jobs, when unemployment is already hitting the middle and upper middle classes. “I cannot continue using it. I lost my job, ”Raphael, his employer for the past 10 years, told Cecilia, a Cape Verdean domestic worker, who cleans her house three times a week. She was the manager of an auto parts company, one of the most affected by the crisis. Others have lost their small businesses. Maids and babysitters suffered the most during Covid and post Covid. Declared or not before social security, families feared contagion and cut their services for months. They had no income, although they were the most vulnerable. Some received 80 percent partial unemployment but others got nothing. Look also “Five families asked me not to go to work anymore. I don’t know what will happen in September, if I can get my jobs back. But the Covid was very difficult for me because I am the one who keeps the house. My children study and my husband is unemployed, ”Cecilia told Clarín. A city for bicycles Paris has become a cycling path. With public transport at risk of infection, the bicycle has largely been adopted as the method of transport this summer. But the mayor has done so at the expense of the vulnerable, the elderly, and medical emergencies, by closing streets that allow Paris to empty quickly at the time of leaving work. Her idea is to ban cars. An urban war between taxi drivers, cyclists and pedestrians has broken out. See also “Paris has become unlivable. It is only for young people. Bicycles don’t have laws, they don’t respect red lights, they don’t have rules. There are accidents all the time, serious injuries, even deaths. No one reacts. Cyclists do not respect pedestrians, they do not let people get out of taxis, they insult them, they believe they are entitled to everything. They are like a dictatorship. There are no tourists. The job is done. I have decided to go live in a small town near Fontanbleau. I was born and raised here but Paris does not belong to us, ”admits Cedric, an architect transformed into a taxi driver. The tests to detect the Covid are essential but it is very difficult to get a shift in Paris. It can take weeks to get it, except for those who arrive at Paris Plage, where they do it for free, after hours in line. The quick fix? The legendary American Hospital. The shift is immediate. In 24 hours is the result for the Covid-19 and to know if it has anti bodies for 79 euros. Paris, correspondent THEMES THAT APPEAR IN THIS NOTE