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“It was not clear” On the quays of the Seine, the ban on alcohol consumption poorly understood


Police officers patrol while a zodiac of the river brigade broadcasts a message reminding the ban on consuming alcohol on the docks – Thibaut Chevillard

  • The police headquarters issued a decree on March 19 prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in several sectors of the capital, including the Esplanade des Invalides, the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin, or the quays of the Seine.
  • Encouraged by the summer weather, many Parisians took to the quays on Monday evening to have a drink. But the police were patrolling to enforce health measures as well as the prefectural decree of March 19.
  • A measure difficult to accept, but also to understand, the sale of alcohol is still authorized on the spot.

The zodiac of the river brigade passes and repeats along the banks. Installed on board, a loudspeaker reminds Parisians who have come to enjoy the sun that they are not allowed to consume alcohol on the part of the Georges Pompidou route between the Pont de Sully and the Pont des arts… Even if it is still authorized to buy beer in the refreshments installed on the banks of the Seine. “People have the right to take their glass for a walk” to go and drink it a few meters above, on the quay of the town hall, explains a police officer. With about twenty colleagues, he is preparing, on this Monday afternoon, to patrol to enforce the (complex) rules put in place to fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

“After the pedagogical phase, we move on to the repression phase”, assures the head of the device, Commissioner Nicolas Benderitter. Sitting on a sidewalk, at the foot of a staircase, three young girls are talking, a white goblet in their hand. The glasses are already empty. They thus escape a fine of 135 euros. “The offense is not constituted,” blows a policewoman.

But a little further on, the bottle of Heineken held by this young man, gray cap and yellow and green Quicksilvers jacket, is still full. His friend, dressed in a yellow down jacket when it is 25 degrees, is not wearing a mask. Coming from Germany, they each receive a fine of 135 euros. “Go with the alcohol”, the agent launches at them, trying to direct them to the exit. “Not possible here. “

“I have the right to sell and they have to go upstairs to drink!” “

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Passing in front of the refreshment stall installed at the foot of the Louis Philippe bridge, the police remind Nadia, the saleswoman, that her customers should not sit down to consume their beer. “Everyone says it’s too much,” she confides annoyed. “Whether they drink up or down, what’s the difference? Nadia considers this measure “incoherent”. “I have the right to sell beers, but they have to go upstairs to drink! “

Police officers control a group of young people on the docks – Thibaut Chevillard

6.30 p.m. Hair covered in gel, a motley jacket on his back, a young man is fined for forgetting to put his mask back on … after kissing a friend. ” How much is it ? »Asks his friend in a beige T-shirt. “135 euros. You can always challenge it, ”responds the agent, who reminds the small band, installed on a towel facing the Seine, the basics of barrier gestures to respect. “In the future, wear the mask. It works ? “

Let us say it frankly: the young man was unlucky. If the vast majority of people present this Monday afternoon respect the rules, many are not wearing a mask, forgetting a little quickly that this spring 2021 is (still) not like the others.

Commissioner Benderitter concedes it half-heartedly: the rules are not easy to enforce. “You have to use good judgment,” he said, “on a case-by-bus basis. People can lower their masks to smoke. But they must respect the rules of social distancing, and leave the time to finish their cigarette. It’s logic. “

“It’s been two weeks since I left”

A few dozen meters away, at the Federico García Lorca garden, two students share a pack of beers and a joint that they threw when they saw the officials arrive. Finally, the police only fined them for having consumed narcotics and imposed a fixed fine of 200 euros on one of them.

His friend understands that he is fined for having smoked cannabis, “it is the law”. On the other hand, they did not know that it was forbidden to drink a beer in front of the Ile-Saint-Louis in the shade of a tree. And the message spewed out by the loudspeaker of the river brigade zodiac “was not clear. Like many students, health measures are beginning to weigh on her. “We’re fed up, I spend all my time at home taking the online courses. I haven’t been out for two weeks. The bars are closed, everything is closed. »Go out, get some fresh air, drink a beer. But not on the banks of the Seine.

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