A classical music festival in France has been suspended after one day, as a member of staff took to social media to report a “probable presence” of Covid-19 onsite
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The head of infectious diseases at France's largest hospital says the risk of contamination in cultural places is lower than in home, work and school environments
By IQ on 09 Feb 2021
The head of infectious diseases at France’s largest hospital says that the risks of Covid-19 contamination in cultural places are “much lower than in the family, professional or school environment”, provided restrictions are observed.
Appearing on French cable channel BFMTV, Eric Caumes from the Pitié Salpêtrière hospital in Paris said that even in cultural places where there are lots of people – such as theatres, stadiums and museums – the risks of Covid-19 contamination is low if social distancing measures are adhered to and masks are worn.
Caumes’ comments are in line with multiple clinical trials which have found little risk of an infected person transmitting Covid-19 in an indoor concert venue, including Spain’s Primacov and two German trials – Restart-19 and Konzerthaus Dortmund. France has announced test concerts of its own, scheduled for the spring.
The infectious diseases chief went on to say that the reopening of culture is essential to avoid a mental health crisis in France and stop citizens from “turning into zombies” – adding the government must consider the “global dimension of health”.
The infectious diseases chief said that the reopening of culture is essential to avoid a mental health crisis in France
“The limit [for hospitals] is not very far, we are so close to the level that we are afraid of…but I am not sure that confinement would improve the psychic parameters which are rather worrying,” he said.
French culture minister, Roselyne Bachelot, has said that museums and monuments will be the first to reopen when there is a drop in the number Covid-19 cases but cinemas, concert halls and theatres are to remain closed until further notice.
Bachelot recently met with the organisers of major French festivals as concern mounts over the impact of France’s ongoing health state of emergency, though the participants say it did not result in any concrete guarantees regarding the festival summer.
The culture minister will hold another meeting with the festival sector on 15 February, by which time she will need to have concrete answers and solutions for festival organisers, says live music association, Prodiss.
Meanwhile, France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, is under pressure from his scientific counsel to impose a third lockdown, warning the leader the country’s curfew and other restrictions are not enough to curb the virus.
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