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the obligatory mask in nightclub

DISCOTHEQUES. Faced with the fifth wave of Covid-19, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran announced the return of the compulsory mask “everywhere indoors” in places open to the public.

[Mis à jour le 03 décembre 2021 à 14h15] The return to mask on the dance floor. In an attempt to contain the fifth wave of Covid-19, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran announced Thursday, November 25, 2021 the publication of a decree making masks again compulsory in all covered places. And this even if their access is already subject to presentation of the health pass. The law no longer required the wearing of a mask in indoor places where the health pass had been requested since the end of July (each operator remained free to do so).

The mask will therefore be making a comeback in nightclubs from Friday November 26. This sector was the most affected by the health crisis, being stationary for 16 months. On November 11, the government announced that nightclubs could regain their gauge to 100% of their capacity, against 75% so far. “The abolition of the gauge was important in our eyes. Since the reopening of night establishments, there is a craze for this form of leisure. It is a success and a strong recovery”, rejoiced then Patrick Malvaës, president of the national union of discotheques and places of leisure (SNDLL), interviewed by France 3 regions.

Note that nightclubs are among the places where the Covid-19 contamination rate is the highest. As revealed by the new part of the ComCor study by the Institut Pasteur, relayed by The Parisian, private parties, bars and nightclubs stand out as being the most at risk: in those under 40, the risk of contamination increases by 340% (150% in those over 40) compared to a person without not frequented nightclub. By comparison, a car trip with other people increases the risk by 30%.

The question arises in the middle of the fifth wave of Covid-19 in France and with the appearance of a new South African variant. In Belgium, face the resurgence of cases, the government announced this Friday, November 26, new health restriction measures, including the closure of nightclubs. Among our neighbors, 23,621 new cases were recorded by the Sciensano public health institute, a new record for the country.

In France, more than 33,000 new contaminations were identified in 24 hours, or 873 more compared to Wednesday and 13,098 more compared to last week. Can the government close nightclubs barely five months after they reopen?

For weeks, the government had worked in collaboration with professionals in the sector to establish a health protocol to be put in place to allow the reopening of nightclubs and discos, hoping not to increase the risk of Covid-19 transmission. Also, according to the information communicated by Alain Griset, Minister Delegate for SMEs, on Monday, June 21, the protocol in nightclubs is as follows:

  • for indoor nightclubs, a 100% gauge is now back;
  • outdoor establishments can be 100% open;
  • a health pass is required at the entrance;
  • wearing a mask becomes compulsory indoors.

Nightclubs and discos closed their doors in March 2020, in line with government measures taken to stem the coronavirus pandemic in France. If the restaurants, cinemas, museums and theaters reopened the first, just like the libertine clubs, the managers of night establishments waited longer for the green light from the government.

After months of uncertainty, the date of July 9 was finally that of the opening, after having been confirmed by the government, Alain Griset, Minister Delegate in charge of Small and Medium Enterprises. According to calculations by the SNDLL (National Union of Discotheques and Places of Leisure), of the 1,648 discotheques in France before the pandemic, 25% were in difficulty when reopening, and 131 in compulsory liquidation. Only 1,500 nightclubs could have reopened.

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