Restaurateurs and shopkeepers demonstrate against restaurant closures

French traders hold funeral march in Lyon to highlight lockdown impact

"Let us work."

"Let us work."

That was the simple demand of around 200 traders in the French city of Lyon on Monday during a protest over the latest lockdown. 

Dressed in black robes and carrying a coffin - to symbolise the death of their businesses - they represented a wide range of trades, from shopkeepers to restaurateurs and hairdressers to gallery owners. 

"There is a lot of concern after eighty days of closure in the first quarter," said Christophe Marguin, president of an association representing Lyon restaurateurs, referring to France's first lockdown that began in March

"And now we are closed for an indefinite period. 

"We hear talk about January 8th [as the end of the current lockdown] ... [during] a period that is prosperous in restaurants, where we could make a recovery after these difficult periods, and despite doing all the protocols that we were asked to do, despite having applied the law, despite having made all the efforts that had to be made, we are still being shot down again and it is really, really, really difficult for all of us."

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