French police investigate secret luxury restaurants in Paris breaching COVID-19 rules

French police are investigating clandestine posh restaurants after a reporter from a French news outlet went to one undercover posing as a guest and exposed it in a video which went viral.

The video showed guests breaking all kinds of Covid-19 restrictions including the wearing of masks and the guests even greeted each by kissing each other on the cheeks.

The secretive restaurant was accessed via an apartment block and had the window blinds closed so people outside couldn’t see what was going on inside.

The revelation shocked the French public who recently entered their third lockdown amidst rising Covid-19 cases and one organiser said to be planning a protest at one of the alleged secret venues – which was advertised on social media with the banner: “Let’s Eat The Rich

Also in the video it was mentioned that there were government ministers among the guests, causing outrage from the public and the ministers rushed to deny that even they had bent the lockdown rules by attending the secret diners.

The viral video was part of a documentary that aired on M6, a French TV channel and on it they showed waiters wearing white gloves serving champagne, lobster and other luxury foods from a fixed menu starting from 160€ (£136.71) to 490€ (£418.69). All of this, while the guests dined maskless – one organiser said they wanted the guests to “feel at home” while eating the lavish meal, despite the fact that France is in a lockdown.

Another secret venue was to have been reported to have offered a 220€ (£187.98) meal, diners in elegant dress attire shared cheek kisses and walked on a red carpet.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said ministers “have a duty to be totally irreproachable and exemplary.” Speaking on LCI television Sunday night, Attal said the authorities have been investigating reports of secret dinner parties and restaurants for months, and 200 suspects have been identified and face “heavy punishment.

One resident who works as a nurse had told the The Associated Press “let them go to restaurants” but has warned that the elite including the government ministers who attended the diners have no “special protection” from the virus.

Restaurants and cafes in France have been closed for the last five months and this week the country entered another lockdown as coronavirus case surge again.

What was seen here is that the rich can easily afford to pay fines if they’re caught breaking Covid rules so they keep doing so with impunity, while the poor cannot afford the fines. Once again the pandemic has shown that it is one rule for the ruling class and their hangers-on and another for working people.

Jenny Smith, is a member of the YCL’s Birmingham branch

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