No deconfinement of nightclubs in sight by June 30

A nightclub closed on November 24, 2020, in Sète in the south of France. (Photo Pascal GUYOT / AFP)

DECONFINATION – By June 30, and if the health situation does not deteriorate by then, most of the restrictions still in force (closures, curfews, gauges) should be lifted for most establishments affected by full force by the Covid-19 epidemic.

While a health pass could be required for certain sites and events with very large crowds (such as stadiums, fairs or exhibitions), restaurants, bars and cultural establishments should escape it and can therefore see the end of the tunnel of confinement between May 19 and June 30.

There remains a sector which is not a priori affected by this easing of restrictions: that of discotheques. A cold shower for nightclubs which have had to keep their doors closed continuously since the confinement of March 2020.

In his interview with the regional daily press, Emmanuel Macron did not even mention nightclubs among establishments whose reopening could be conditional on the presentation of a health pass, whether it is a negative test or even a certificate of immunity.

However, the President of the Republic did not explicitly rule out this possibility and refers the discussions to Parliament. “In places where crowds mingle, such as stadiums, festivals, fairs or exhibitions, it would be absurd not to use it. As our public freedoms are at stake, Parliament will take up the matter. The debate must be open, ”he said.

A strict protocol had been proposed

Asked by BFMTV, Patrick Malvaës the president of the professional union of discotheques and leisure places, said he was “not surprised” by this non-announcement while hoping that night establishments with an outdoor space will still be able to work in waiting for a hypothetical reopening in the summer.

Before the announcement of the calendar set by Emmanuel Macron, professional nightclub organizations had proposed to reopen those with outdoor spaces from May 29, before reopening their indoor spaces with a gauge reduced to 20%.

This reopening was to be accompanied by compliance with a reinforced health protocol and the use of a QR code to be flashed at the entrance of establishments, to better trace cases of Covid-19, say professionals, while health authorities around the world have noted for months that the main mode of contamination was by aerosols, that is to say the air we breathe, and which tend to concentrate in the air of closed spaces in the absence of adequate ventilation.

Last December, Emmanuel Macron had already ruled out a reopening of nightclubs as long as the virus was circulating strongly. “It would be madness”, had launched the Head of State to a young man who challenged him on the night world, according to him “falling into ruins”.

The High Council of Public Health had already spoken out against a reopening of nightclubs last summer, citing “cases of clusters originating from nightclubs”, “difficulties in enforcing a distance of more than one meter in dancing ”or even a“ disinhibition of behavior by consumption of alcoholic beverages ”.

See also on Then24: In the Netherlands, this nightclub has reopened under very special conditions

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