France bans dancing in bars and restaurants in response to Covid-19

Dancing in bars and restaurants will be closed for four weeks in France, as part of the government's efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dancing in bars and restaurants will be closed for four weeks in France, as part of the government's efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP)
The French government had already ordered that nightclubs close for four weeks from Friday. But if you thought you could get around this by having a boogie at your local brasserie, think again.

The fifth wave of the pandemic continues to rip through France and is not predicted to peak until the end of the month at the earliest. 

In response, the government has doubled down on measures to prevent the spread of the virus. 

After announcing a four-week closure of nightclubs, it has now also implemented an additional ban dancing in bars and restaurants, which will run from Friday until January 7th.  

A study published by the Pasteur Institute in November found that night clubs in particular posed a “high risk of infection” because they are typically unventilated spaces where the virus hangs in the air. 

This study found that under 40s were most likely to get infected in nightclubs – most likely because they are the age group most likely to frequent these venues. 

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The ban on dancing in restaurants and bars is likely a targeted measure to reduce the rate of transmission among older population groups, who are already at higher risk of serious illness arising from Covid-19 infection but might also want to put on their dancing shoes at the weekend. 

The government has already announced that those working in the nightlife sector would receive compensation, via part-time unemployment benefits, for the duration of the nightclub closures. 

It has not announced any such compensation for workers in the bar and restaurant industry, as these venues will be able to stay open – dance floor aside.  

All inside venues in France currently require mask wearing. Health passes remain obligatory for those who want to visit bars and restaurants over the Christmas period. 

The government has asked businesses to avoid hosting end of year parties until the passing of the fifth wave. 


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