PARIS - The French government plans to allow nightclubs to reopen in July, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday, allowing the industry to operate again for the first time since it was shut during the first COVID-19 lockdown ordered in March 2020.
Veran said the government was working on safety protocols for the reopening with details to be announced next week, after President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this month an update on nightclub operations would be made on June 21.
"In July, nightclubs are expected to reopen with specific requirements", Veran told France's BFM television. He gave no precise date.
More than 100 nightclubs out of 1,600 in France have closed permanently due to the pandemic crisis, according to hospitality trade union UMIH.
France eased its third nationwide lockdown - meant to rein in the coronavirus outbreak - last month with the reopening of terraces on May 19. Last week, restaurants, bars and cafes were allowed to reopen for indoor service for the first time in seven months.
The government said on Wednesday a night-time curfew would end from June 20 as the pandemic situation was improving faster than anticipated.
(Reporting by Matthieu Protard and Nicolas Delame; Editing by Bernadette Baum) ((email@example.com; +33-1-49495381;))