France to allow gatherings of more than 5,000 from August 15

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Events comprising more than 5,000 people have been banned since the end of February due to the Covid-19 crisis.Now, the Minister of Culture has confirmed that gatherings will be authorized from next Saturday, under certain conditions.

From August 15 to 31, events of this magnitude will still have to be approved in advance by the prefecture to take place. From September 1, even this will no longer be necessary.

The new regulations will include several of the largest concert halls, arenas and exhibition spaces in France, including the AccorArena, the Paris Defense Arena, the Halle Olympique d’Albertville, the Arènes de Bayonne, the Palais des Sports de Grenoble, the Halle Tony Garnier and some “Zénith” like the one in Lille; as well as the exhibition hall of the Grand Palais in Paris.

Yet the global pandemic has caused many big shows, festivals and concerts to be postponed until 2021, regardless of the rules, which means that in practice many of these venues will not accommodate audiences for several weeks.

Some shows scheduled for September may take place, depending on location and event.

The great art fair, Art Paris Art Fair in Paris, to be held at the Grand Palais, is scheduled to take place – at the time of writing – from September 9 to 13; while the International Contemporary Art Fair (The International Contemporary Art Fair or FIAC) should confirm in early September whether its October event will take place.

Ongoing security restrictions

Restrictions and safety precautions are still in place at major sites.

Éric Gensel, head of crisis and general security at the Grand Palais, told Le Figaro: “We ask that [organisers] enforce a one-way system, have large aisles, ask participants to wear masks in queues to enter, install disinfectant gel at all entrances and limit the number of people allowed in separate spaces. ”

Read more: More and more French cities are making masks compulsory thanks to public support

Exhibits should be reorganized to allow for this one-way system and to limit the number of people allowed on the site at any time, the government recommended.

At many concerts, however, people will have to leave a free space between each group of spectators. Participants will also, in most cases, need to book online in advance and wear masks at all times on site.

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