Monaco, the tiny independent principality on the French Riviera, has long attracted people wanting to escape from paying French taxes. It is now also attracting those who don’t want to abide by France’s stricter coronavirus restrictions.
Just across the border in France, all the restaurants are closed (though some are offering takeout). In Monaco, they are packed with people, many of them French people, like Marcel Guérin.
“We’re from Nice. We’ve come to eat in a restaurant because in France we’re not allowed to. It makes you feel like a teenager again, disobeying your parents!” he said in French.
Monaco resident Caroline Boulanger, who emerged from a restaurant a couple of doors down, said keeping restaurants open is helping the economy. The French should do the same, she said. “We have to get back to normal economically.”
France has many more restrictions on businesses than Monaco.
Still, there are quite a few anti-COVID-19 measures here.
“The tables have to be one and a half meters apart,” said Francis Poidevin, owner of the Quai des Artistes restaurant. “No more than six people per table. Reservations only. Customers must come no later than 2 p.m. for lunch and 8 at night when the curfew starts. We give them a permit so they can go home later, but everyone has to be out by 9:30,” he said.
Poidevin said his restaurant business is doing nicely, up about 30% this holiday season over last year. And much of that, he said, is thanks to French patrons.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?
This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.
Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?
India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.
Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?
As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.
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