So, as diseases spread during the Industrial Revolution, Bruegel says doctors realised the best way to get clean air into workspaces was to get people to leave during lunch.
As years passed, eating outside became a part of French culture, which brings us close to the present, when eating together had the inverse effect on health and safety.
Yes, we're bringing up the pandemic. In February 2021, the lunch-break law was put on pause to try and limit the spread of Covid. But the lunch law suspension expired this year and the French are eating outside their offices once more.
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