“You see that restaurant over there? It’s a clandé,” said my taxi driver with a snort, referring to a “clandestine table.” Glancing at the Montparnasse restaurant, a place I know well, there was indeed a narrow band of amber light improbably shining through the window at the top of the thick curtains drawn inside the front door.

“I dropped off a well-known politician there last night, and on the way, he bragged to me about how it works,” he continued. “You get a covid test in the afternoon, and bring proof of a negative result when you show up. You wait across the street and send a text message that you’ve arrived.