The project will take place on Saturday night (June 26th) and will evaluate whether it is safe to re-open nightclubs under pre-pandemic conditions. It will look at the risk of transmission in a closed venue, at full capacity, between people who are fully vaccinated and not wearing a mask.
After remaining closed for 15 months, nightclubs in France will be allowed to open from July 9th, on the condition that indoor venues respect a 75 percent capacity limit, and partygoers have a valid Covid health pass (pass sanitaire).
The study dubbed Reviens, la Nuit (Come back, the night) is looking to recruit 4,400 fully-vaccinated volunteers aged 18 to 49, without any serious underlying health conditions, who live in the greater Paris region of Île-de-France.
Half of the volunteers will actually attend the event, while the other 2,200 will act as a control group. All participants will self-administer a saliva Covid-19 test before Saturday night, and again one week later.
The event will take place in two Paris venues – La Machine du Moulin Rouge and Le Cabaret Sauvage. The bar will be open, and there will be no social distancing rules, so attendees are encouraged to dance as they normally would in order to replicate the “atmosphere of the dance floor”.
After the event, researchers will ask participants to describe what they did.
“If ever we find people who contaminated each other, are there factors which could show that certain behaviours are more associated with contamination than others?” Dr Liem Binh Luong Nguyen, one of the leaders of the study, told France Info.
The trial is being led by Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, and the ANRS Maladies infectieuses émergentes. The venues will be disinfected, antibacterial gel will be available, and a ventilation system will be installed ahead of the events.
Last month, rock group Indochine played a trial gig at Paris’s Bercy concert hall ahead of the return of concerts, as France gradually re-opens a cultural sector which has been severely impacted by the pandemic.
You can sign up for the nightclub trial by visiting revienslanuit.org.