Visitors to the 2021 Cannes Film Festival will be able to enjoy late-night drinks and even clubbing now that France has lifted an eight-month nighttime curfew. The 11 p.m. curfew was supposed to remain in place until June 30, but French Prime Minister Jean Castex decided to end it earlier, citing better-than-expected data on coronavirus infection rates.
This is the first time since October 30 that the French have been able to enjoy their country’s legendary nightlife. The country is one of the last in Europe to maintain a nighttime curfew in its battle to contain the COVID-19 infection. At its strictest – at the height of its second COVID wave in mid-January, France had a 6 p.m. curfew, but that was pushed back to 7 p.m. in March, 9 p.m. in May and 11 p.m. from June 9.
The French government has also abandoned the mandatory wearing of masks outdoors, although masks are still required inside hotels, restaurants, bars and cinemas.
This is good news for the service industry in Cannes, which is counting on next month’s film festival to revive the summer season and mark a return to normal after nearly a year of lockdown.
Several of Cannes’ best-known festival hotspots, including the Bâoli club and the Bisous Bisous nightclub atop the Palais de Festival, will reopen for this year’s event. All clubs will be allowed to reopen, with 75% capacity, but no mask required, on July 9.
Béatrice Gagnaire, the house manager of the Majestic hotel in Cannes, said Hollywood journalist that even though bookings were down from the pre-COVID festival in 2019, she was confident that “we’ll be full” when the 2021 festival takes place, July 6 to July 17.
While Gagnaire welcomed the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, she noted that “we all have to be very careful to show the world that Cannes still respects these security measures. … When our customers return, it is important that they feel safe and comfortable.