The owners of the nightclubs are almost on target. The reopening of nightclubs is now a matter of days. While the date of July 2 is circulating, without being confirmed by the government, the representatives of the profession hope that the establishments will be able to welcome their first clubbers from June 30 “not to start with a weekend, but in the middle of the week. in order to get back in the saddle ”, supports Thierry Fontaine, president of the night branch of the Union of hotel trades and industries (Umih). A decisive meeting is scheduled for June 21 with Emmanuel Macron.
Self-test carried out on site
Under what conditions will this reopening take place? According to this draft health protocol under discussion, which would apply until August 31 and which we were able to consult, the health pass would be the key to entering a nightclub (two doses of vaccine or a negative virological test within 48 previous hours). An alternative would exist: a negative saliva self-test carried out on site under the supervision of the staff of the establishment.
Who would fund them? Professionals would like to recover self-test stocks unused by the National Education. Otherwise, they want the assistance of the State because, explains Thierry Fontaine, “we pay well for the tests of foreign tourists, why the public authorities could not finance the self-tests for our young people? “
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If the conditions of access to the establishment are common for this summer, the proposed gauges differ. In July, the protocol provides for a gauge of 65% of maximum capacity indoors and 85% outdoors. With respectively a limit of 1000 and 3000 people present simultaneously. In August, the gauge would increase to 85% indoors and there would be no limit outdoors. The ceilings would be raised to 1,500 and 3,000. In addition, consumption will be seated, even at the counter and by table of six maximum.
The obligatory mask on the dance floor?
The air renewal and smoke extraction systems must be put into operation “continuously and as much as possible” to limit contamination. If “customers must wear a mask for their movements inside the establishment and for orders”, specifies the draft health protocol, the question remains for the dance floor, professionals in the sector wanting this space is preserved. “We are in the process of making adjustments, details that will not slow down the reopening on June 30,” says Jérôme Guilbert, president of the discotheques branch of the National Group of Independents.
It is therefore the end of the tunnel for the now 1,400 French nightclubs, some 200 having filed for bankruptcy since the start of the crisis. Representatives of the sector warn that “25% of establishments still alive will not be able to respond to the protocol”. Or will not reopen for lack of staff, or because the breakeven point will be unattainable under these conditions.