Sunday, June 21, 2020

Your Disco Needs You!

A summer in the French Riviera without nightclubs?! C'est impossible!

It appears Coronavirus has struck again, this time with the nightclub world. As we moved forward in France to "Phase 3" of the restrictions being lifted, one thing stayed the same. All nightclubs in France had to stay closed and now it appears that rule may stay into affect until September sometime.

As understandable and sad as it is, especially because in the summer months the LGBTQ nightclubs (and nightlife overall) is one of the most interesting, fun activities to do here as it is an extremely big part of the social life here in France. But then again, being social in a pandemic is not a good thing.

Currently bars are allowed to be open, but only if they have a terrace where people can social distance or if you can go inside, a mask must be on at all times. There have been cruising bars that have opened and even the gay bathhouses but again, it depends on how they are regulated in their city, laid out internally and of course with many safety precautions in much as that can allow for anyway.

Needless to say, nightclub owners are upset and a movement has begun to try and at least have limited openings with a certain amount of people in attendance while adhering to safety measures.

As one nightclub owner wrote as part of a press statement (translated):

"The Government signs the death warrant of the nightclubs. Night professionals are in complete incomprehension vis-a-vis the improbable decision which was taken yesterday by the Government and the health services to keep closed the night clubs until September.

In this same decision, it is stated that sporting events and performance halls are authorized to accommodate between 1,500 to 5,000 people maximum; it's more than what discos welcome! In France, there are 40 nightclubs that can accommodate more than 1,000 people.

The profession is on edge and wonders about this injustice between what is authorized for an athlete or a performance hall and prohibited for discotheques.

How is it that we keep closing nightclubs or bars at night, even though the prefect of Paris authorizes 4 demonstrations today or that football matches will again take place with thousands of spectators?"

So it's alright for one type of entertainment but not for another. Overall there seems to be a lot of confusion as to how the government came to these decisions, especially when you see in person a restaurant full of patrons in the evening yet literally next door a nightclub the same size has to remain closed.

In my personal opinion the government has done a tremendous job with Covid19 and it has actually been amazing to experience people abiding by all the rules so we can get back to whatever normal is as soon as possible. Safety first, just the line seems a little blurred in this case.

Time will tell though as new changes on restrictions are to follow in the next week or two.

The French Riviera is a great place for trying out new ideas so perhaps all the dancing will be done on the streets this summer!

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