This article was written and originally published by EATER.COM
As restaurants in Australia struggle to survive, the same can be said for restaurants around the world. At least there is some backwords version of comfort in that. Countries and cities are all dealing with Coronavirus in different ways, but all face the battle of closure and rebuilding. Eater Travel reached out to their correspondents around the world five days ago, and asked them to share some light on their own communities. This is what they found.
“The whole French food chain may become less individual and more corporate”
Currently, in Paris, you can only leave home for essential foods or other goods, medical care, caring for a child or someone ill or infirm, essential work that cannot be done from home, or small amounts of solitary exercise within your own neighborhood. There is a specific form that you must fill out and carry with you. If you fail to provide the form, or are found to be violating the rules, there will be a fine of 135 euros. Prior to the total confinement, they had already shut down schools and day cares and suggested people work from home, and then with very little notice on Saturday night, announced they were shutting down restaurants, bars, museums, movie theaters, etc. People still flocked to public parks and markets, so we had total confinement announced Monday night.
Currently, it’s officially only a 15-day lockdown, but most people expect that it will be extended beyond that. Europe’s borders are closed for the next 30 days. Still, it was reported they issued 4,000 violations today. My own parents think they’re invincible, despite being of the age group most at risk, and continue to golf and go to the dog groomer, etc. If they were to get sick, and with the borders closed, I wouldn’t be able to be with them and then get back into France. That’s what really concerns me. — Catherine Down
“Everyone considers this year ruined”
Travellers are key to supporting Italy’s slow-food movement and artisanal food products (either through restaurants, direct purchasing, or via small food-tour companies like mine, which promote these producers through guided visits and tastings). With visitors all but gone, these purveyors and the foods they produce are in threat of halting production, which would also translate into a loss of a safeguarded tradition or biodiversity which Italian foodways are widely celebrated for. The only hope is knowing this is a collective struggle felt across the world. — Coral Sisk
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
“They cancelled soccer games — which is a huge deal for Argentine citizens considering fútbol is life”
Argentina is probably about two weeks behind Italy and Spain, and one week behind the U.S. in terms of cases, but as of Friday the government announced a mandatory lockdown, requiring people to stay in their homes unless absolutely necessary until March 31. It has all happened so fast. Last weekend, I went out with friends and was mocked for not wanting to give a kiss hello. A week later, here we are. So overall the government has acted quickly, first closing schools, nightclubs, cancelling festivals and concerts, and cancelling soccer games — which is a huge deal for Argentine citizens considering fútbol is life.
Even before coronavirus, the unstable economy and hyperinflation that already exists in Argentina has made it difficult for many restaurants to make ends meet. With this, I’m afraid it’s going to be absolutely shattering to the local restaurant industry. I’ve talked to a lot of chefs over the last few days and many say this is the end for them. But Argentines have gone through many crises before — a dictatorship, economic crisis, and endless political and social unrest — so they are resilient. Living in Argentina can be chaotic because we don’t really know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but it makes the Argentine people incredibly strong and adaptable. As one restaurant owner told me today, “vamos a seguir adelante.” (We are going to keep pushing forward.) — Allie Lazar
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