The health rules for going to the cinema in France

The French prime minister has urged people to go to the cinema to support France's battered entertainment industry, but what rules are in place if you do go?

The health rules for going to the cinema in France
Photo: AFP

Over the summer, many places put on open air cinema screenings which proved very popular, but as the summer draws to a close people who want to see films on the big screen will have to return to cinemas.

This is something prime minister Jean Castex is keen to encourage, but with strict health protocols in place.


National rules on mask-wearing mean that masks have to be worn at the theatre and cinema, and the Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Français has put together a guide for cinema owners on health measures.

They suggest;

  • 1m distance between customers. The guide says that groups who go to the cinema together can sit next to each other, but there must be at least one free seat between each customer or group of customers
  • 50 percent room occupancy – only half the usual number of tickets for each screening can be sold
  • 1m distance in queues. Cinema owners are advised to take measures to avoid queuing but to put markers in place so that any queues that do form remain distanced
  • Stagger screening times to ensure that two films don't end at the same time, leading to large numbers of people exiting at the same time
  • Masks should be worn. Initially the rule said only that masks should be worn in communal areas but could be removed once customers are seated, however this has now been tightened and masks should be worn throughout the film or play.
  • Hand gel provided for customers
  • All areas accessed by the public should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day
  • Doors to screening rooms to remain open as much as possible to ensure ventilation.


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French public urged to wear face masks again on public transport

With France in the middle of a new wave of Covid-19, the country's health minister has urged the public to once again wear face masks on public transport and in crowded spaces.

French public urged to wear face masks again on public transport

With cases on the rise again, French Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon said she is “[asking] the French to put masks back on in transport” in an interview with RTL on Monday, 

For the time being, however, she stressed it was just advice, rather than an obligation, and masks have in fact been recommended on public transport since the legal requirement to wear them was lifted in May. 

However with France reporting over 50,000 daily cases of Covid-19 the government is clearly concerned by the current wave of the pandemic.

Bourguignon said that “we must protect ourselves and protect others,” adding that wearing a mask is “a civic gesture.”

She urged people to don their masks as soon as they see a crowded train or station.

READ MORE: Return of the health pass? How France plans to tackle new wave of Covid cases

In addition to public transport, Bourguignon is also asking the French to once again mask-up in “all crowded, enclosed areas.”

Currently, masks are only required in hospitals, health centres and places that have vulnerable residents such as nursing homes. They are recommended in crowded spaces where it is impossible to practice social distancing.