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
What are the details of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan?
The $1.9 trillion plan would aim to speed up the vaccine rollout and provide financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. It would also include $1,400 checks for most Americans. Get the rest of the specifics here.
What kind of help can small businesses get right now?
A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.
What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?
New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.