Macron promises to help restaurants deal with post-pandemic staff shortage

·1-min read

PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday his government would help restaurants and bars find staff as the hospitality industry gradually resumes normal operations following months of closures during the coronavirus epidemic.

Employers in the hospitality industry have warned that after months of shutdowns and staff on furlough, they are finding it harder to entice workers into a sector which has been at the mercy of the pandemic, and could yet be again.

Macron, who was visiting the southeastern Drome region, said there was a shortfall of as many as 110,000 hospitality workers.

"We will mobilise to ensure that these 110,000 vacancies are filled as quickly as possible", the president said. He did not give any details on how the government might help.

Restaurants, bars and cafes will be allowed to seat patrons indoors from Wednesday as France further eases its COVID-19 restrictions. Gyms will also be allowed to reopen and a nightly curfew pushed back to 11 p.m.

Macron was slapped in the face by an onlooker during a walkabout on Tuesday after he visited a hospitality training college.

(Reporting by Matthieu Protard; editing by Richard Lough and Mark Heinrich)

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