As France is officially transitioning into stage 3 with regards to precautions against the coronavirus epidemic, the PM has asked all non-essential businesses to remain closed. This means that only food businesses, pharmacies, service stations, banks and tobacconists are allowed to open.
Vape shops did not make the cut as part of the list of businesses authorized to remain open, however it is still possible for them to deliver orders, either by drop off or collection. “For any order and delivery, contact us by phone or email” announced a Parisian vape shop last night on Instagram. The only exception is for vape shops located in shopping malls, since these must close the curtain.
Up until recently, tobacco shops had the authorization to remain open and also asked for financial aid, which led to many vape shops feeling indignant. In an article by L630 Yann Bisiou, a lecturer in private law at the University of Montpellier, said that the wording of the decree is vague.
“If there is an ambiguity in the drafting of the decree of March 14, 2020, it follows from the provisions of this text that the vape stores are not affected by the ban and can continue their activity, unless they are installed in a mall.”
Should vape shops be considered a public health utility?
President of FIVAPE Jean Moiroud, said that he contacted the Minister of Health to request an extension of the authorization to open vape shops “on the basis of public health.” The SIIV explains on its Facebook page that it is “doing everything to request an enlargement of the list of businesses that can continue to operate” and that it has approached Fivape, Aiduce and Sovape in order to “conduct a joint action in this direction.”
In response to FIVAPE’s request, the group “Buralistes En Colère” published a Facebook post saying that vape shops are not a public health utility. “Small precision in vape shops!” No you are not #Buralists and no you are not a business of public utility! So… .. Yes, you have to close and not worry about your customers, the professionals that we are will ensure the succession.” Some tobacconists showed support for vape businesses and reacted strongly to this message, clearly dissociating themselves from it.
Latest Update 26/03/20:
In an amendment of the March 14th decree, vape shops are now recognized as “of public interest” and have now been allowed to reopen, as long as they set in place all the necessary precautions to avoid the transmission of the coronavirus.
Read Further: VapingPost France