Paris bars to open 24 hours for Olympics opening ceremony

Paris has around 15,000 bars, many of which close during the month of August for the summer holidays in normal years.


Bars and cafes in the French capital will be allowed to stay open round-the-clock for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Paris Olympics, a city decree said on Wednesday.

The decision “is linked to a range of free festivities organised by the city, away from the sports venues” and is justified “by the exceptional nature of the opening and closing ceremonies,” the ruling from the city prefect says.

It means bars will be able to stay open all night on 26 July, when the Olympics are set to open with a boat parade on the river Seine, as well as the closing ceremony on 11 August.

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Paralympic Games

The same exception to licensing rules will be made for the opening of the Paralympic Games on 28 August and the closing ceremony on 8 September.

The decree states that bar owners “remain in these exceptional circumstances the guarantors of public order inside their establishments”. 

The City of Light has around 15 000 bars, many of which close during the month of August for the summer holidays in normal years. 

Several residents’ associations, including “Droit au Sommeil” (The Right to Sleep), have been critical of moves by Paris authorities to extend licensing hours for temporary outdoor eating and drinking areas during the Games.

Those establishments will be able to serve until midnight, instead of 10pm as usual. 

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