French nightclub workers hold (daytime) protest on virus closure

Bring on the night

Workers in French nightclubs and discos on Sunday protested in Paris to urge the government to allow their dance floors to get moving again, saying closure as a coronavirus precaution risked putting many out of business.

While much of life in France has now returned to a semblance of normality after the virus lockdown, the government is insisting that nightclubs and discos must stay closed for now.

Some 200 employees of the sector protested outside the health ministry in central Paris brandishing slogans like "all for the night" and "save the world of the night."

Matthieu Lebrun, spokesman of disco operators from Normandy said that half of France's 1,600 nightclubs and discos risked disappearing if reopening was not allowed before September.

"We need a precise date," he said, adding that nightclubs were ready to follow strict health conditions including wearing a mask, social distancing and tracing.

Industry professionals argue it would be far better to let nightclubs reopen under strict regulation than letting people indulge in the unregulated outdoor parties with little social distancing that have been reported across France in recent days.

The government has said, however, that experience in other countries shows that nightclubs may be hubs for the transmission of infection.