The discovery of a cluster in Bordeaux casts doubt on the reopening of nightclubs


The executive brandished the threat of closing these establishments, if outbreaks of contamination were to multiply there during the summer.

Bad news for party animals: the discovery of cases of Covid-19 in a nightclub in Bordeaux, despite the many restrictions surrounding the reopening of these establishments, casts doubt on their maintenance this summer. The government has toughened its tone, brandishing the threat of a general shutdown if this type of situation were to increase.

Asked about FranceInfo on Monday, the government spokesperson explained that he was watching “very carefully what happened in Bordeaux“. “Extremely extensive checks take place in nightclubs“, Specified Gabriel Attal, but if the”situations like this“Should multiply in the coming weeks,”the question of keeping discos open will arise“. The member of the executive however assured that the rules, including the control of the sanitary pass at the entrance of the establishment, were respected “in the vast majority of casesBy professionals. People could also be infected between the time they perform their test and the evenings, inflating the balance sheet.

To date, at least 35 cases of contamination have been identified after parties organized on July 9, 10 and 13 in the Hangar FL establishment in Bordeaux. The events brought together “750 people per evening», Indicates the Regional Health Agency of Nouvelle Aquitaine to Figaro, and the first cases were detected on Thursday, July 15. The teams are continuing their work to try to detect other possible cases, and the ARS has asked “the establishment to disseminate vigilance messages to invite people who participated in these evenings to be tested and vaccinated“. The ARS also advises participants to wear a mask inside these establishments, except for dancing, and recalls that the control of the health pass by the organizers must be “rigorous“.

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A “human failure»Possible

On the Hangar FL Facebook page, Internet users denounced the silence of the organizers. “Thank you to Hangar FL for not making any communication since Friday, opening night, concerning the huge cluster that you are doing. I am positive, and not the only one!», Wrote for example a user. “After 2 a.m., it doesn’t check anything anymore», Noted another. What to remove the doubt on the quality of the controls carried out at the entry.

Manager of HFL Productions and affiliated with the club in question – without being the manager – Thierry Coste ensures that “everything was in place», During these evenings, to scrupulously respect government directives. “Security was present, they had the phones to scan the sanitary passes, the information was done”And the gauge was limited to 750 presales, he says. However, he cannot certify that the security personnel at the entrance did not “took it lightly” sometimes. The investigation will need to determine precisely what happened, but “it may be a human failure», At the entrance, he notes. However, it would be an exaggeration to speak of a lack of control.

There is a breach in the health protocol governing the takeover of establishments, adds Thierry Coste: “artists and employees were not required to come with a negative antigen or PCR test”, Unlike customers. The latter can therefore play, and the employees work, without their health status being known. However, one of the DJs who officiated during one of these evenings in Bordeaux announced a few days after having tested positive. “He infected at least one other DJ, and our artistic director, who worked with him», Says our interlocutor. “How many cases like ours will it take for the government to find a breach?»On this point, surprised Thierry Coste.

The professional recalls that the tests used to validate the sanitary pass are not 100% reliable either, and he points to the slowness of the reaction of the ARS, which came into contact with the nightclub on Sunday, “at 11:45 am», Several days after the discovery of the positive cases. These are all elements that must be taken into account to improve the system in the future.

Reinforced controls in sight

The case of this outbreak is far from trivial: night workers know they are expected at the turn, and they intend to reassure the authorities as well as the customers about the risks of contamination in their premises. After long months of closure, the stakes, in terms of image and attractiveness, are enormous, in particular since the emergence of infectious outbreaks in nightclubs in the Netherlands and Spain in recent weeks. “The health pass is not infallible“, Warned the boss of the National Union of Discos and Leisure Places (SNDLL), Patrick Malvaës, in a blog note.

The government, which relied on a strict framework to allow a smooth recovery of nightclubs, is closely following the case of Bordeaux. As a result of the discovery of the home, the executive toughened its tone on Sunday: a note was sent by the Minister of the Interior to the prefects, asking them to ensure “in particular to the respect of the control of the sanitary pass by the establishments requesting it now, and in particular the night establishments“. Gérald Darmanin also brandishes the threat of “administrative closure»For places that do not control sanitary passes or that show lightness.

A “example“?

In the meantime, the Hangar FL is in the hot seat. “I said to the manager: you risk being the turkey of the farce“, Notes Thierry Coste, for whom the place could be used as a”exampleBy the authorities. But the establishment “does not deserve»This bad press, he regrets, while all the sanitary rules were in place.

Still, the possibility of closing all nightclubs, if the Bordeaux case occurs again, worries professionals. “We are not going to penalize an entire profession for a drift, it would not be acceptable», Warns the general delegate of SNDLL, Christian Jouny. The majority of the approximately 25% of professionals who reopened since July 9 are “absolutely rigorous“, He assures:”operators who have been closed for 16 months, who have lost everything, do not want to run the risk of being closed, deprived of the aid they have left», Notes the representative. The managers are “very scrupulous”, Even if some security providers can be more lax and must be reframed, if necessary.

There is a problem on an establishment, but a swallow does not make spring“, Nuance Christian Jouny: a specific case cannot symbolize the whole of a profession and”the vast majority of those responsible are in the nails», He hammers. The nightlife is therefore crossing its fingers so that the case of Bordeaux does not repeat itself elsewhere.

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