The big debate dominating French news at the moment is Black Friday. The French government is considering allowing small businesses and shops to reopen from November 28, but commerce representatives argue that they will be excluded from Black Friday shopping on November 27.
As a response, the French government is trying to postpone Black Friday in France unti December 4, and Carrefour and Leclerc have already agreed to hold off for one week.
The Federation of Commerce and Distribution believes that a week’s delay is possible but only if Amazon also agrees to delay until December 4. A spokesperson for Amazon France confirmed Thursday that the e-giant will wait until December 4 for its Black Friday promotions.
Medef president Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux called a postponement “unreasonable” "Everything is imaginable, but not eight days before. We talk a lot about Amazon (...) but there are plenty of French traders who have prepared their promotional sales.”
The Minister of Labor Elisabeth Borne told BFM-TV, “The objective is to find (...) the right method to allow everyone to resume their activity. We are not at a stage where we are going to revoke all attestations, it is important that we continue to avoid going out when we don’t need to. (...)
“We are looking for the best way to relax the rules. ‘Relaxation’ therefore, rather than ‘deconfinement.’ No one wants to see a new outbreak of the epidemic, so we have to find a cautious approach,” she said.
Shops opening on November 28, as well as young people being able to do sports again, would be the first part of a suggested 4-stage ease of lockdown. Macron is very clear to avoid using the word “deconfinement” this time round.
Christmas Travel Refunds
Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari wrote on Twitter: “100% of trains from December 15 to January 4 are open for booking now.” SNCF has confirmed tickets will be 100% refundable, free of charge, until January 4.
Air France is also offering “100% flexible tickets” with full refunds. In the event of a cancelled flight or if you postpone your trip, and if your flight is scheduled before March 31, 2021. For both SNCF and Air France, if you chose to rebook your tickets and the fares are more expensive with the new date, you may have to pay the difference in some cases.
Air Austral, Corsair, Emirates and Qatar Airways are also assuring refunds if flights are canceled over the Christmas holidays due to the pandemic.
Low-cost airlines Trasavia, easyJet and Ryanair offer no reimbursements although rescheduling flights may be possible.
For Airbnb over the holidays, refunds are at the discretion of the owner. Accor and Best Western hotels are offering full refund, without penalty, for cancelations up to three days before arrival.
The General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) has reported that out of 162 sanitizing gels tested, one out of seven products is ineffective.
“73% of the products analyzed to date have been declared either non-compliant (38%) or non-compliant and dangerous (35%). More specifically, 21 products (13% of the products analyzed) showed an insufficient alcohol content and were therefore found to be non-compliant and dangerous,” they warned.
All products that are compliant should have at least 60% d'alcool and include the reference “norme en14476.”