Despite high Covid, France will reopen concerts and opera from May 19

Despite high Covid, France will reopen concerts and opera from May 19


norman lebrecht

April 30, 2021

President Macron has approved the reopening of cultural spaces with audience from May 19.

Up to 800 attenders will be permitted indoors and 1,000 outdoors.

From June 9 the limit will be raised to 5,000.

France continues to experience intolerbaly high levels of Covid infection. There were 31,000 new cases logged yesterday, and 315 deaths.

The UK figures were 2,445 cases and 22 deaths.



  • Anthony Sayer says:

    ‘Intolerably high’? Honestly. Look at how many actually get ill. Such is the hysteria that anyone suspecting themselves of symptoms gets admitted to hospital, hence the high bed occupancy rate. This nonsense needs to stop, now.

    • Cassis says:

      I’m writing from France and the situation is indeed “intolerable.” The number of deaths in my community is staggering.

      • Hayne says:

        It would be over if governments and big pharma “allowed” something that really works? Let’s say Ivermectin in early stages for example. I can hear it now. “Where’s the money in that?”

        • Amos says:

          Because clinical trials with Ivermectin have shown no efficacy except in the disinformation troll world! Feel free to try it yourself for COVID-19 and at least you will, based on reliable clinical studies, finally be free of malaria parasites and head lice.

          • Hayne says:

            “Because clinical trials with Ivermectin have shown no efficacy…” Really?


            How about HCQ as another treatment?


            How about budesonide?

            Your ignorance on treatments is appalling.
            Instead of watching the media, why don’t you look into WHY these treatments are being censored?

          • Amos says:

            Why don’t you stick to real science and not bs troll sites. HCQ has been tested by real scientists in real GCP trials and all it does to COVID patients is kill them at a higher rate than placebo-controlled participants by inducing tachycardia. You offer nothing regarding real science because you know nothing about science and are only interested in pushing disinformation which is the source of your income.

          • Hayne says:

            Proof please. Also proof on Ivermectin also.
            Your word, like mine means nothing without controlled studies. I have provided these. These many controlled studies are obviously not for you but the few who have the curiosity to see for themselves. Competing and testing different views is how science advances. The fact that many brilliant scientists, epidemiologists and doctors are being censored by big tech and media means nothing to you? Yeah, I know because they’re wrong.

    • Amos says:

      Ignoring all the obvious aspects of your disinformation comments, the most important is the correlation between maintaining high levels of the virus in the environment and the generation of variants/mutants. Do you really not understand that the more virus which replicates ensures that a variant will be generated which will evade detection by Abs generated by the current vaccines and/or have increased infectivity/lethality. Opening up in France is moronic!

      • SVM says:

        Do you really not understand that there is more to public health than one respiratory virus? These lockdowns and restrictions have become intolerably protracted, and are causing incalculably more harm than they are preventing. It is time to accept that COVID-19 will remain an endemic virus (yes, it will mutate, but that may not be a bad thing — over time, the most successful mutations are *usually* those which are more infectious but less dangerous… it is not in a virus’s interests to harm its host, because it is healthy people who have higher relative mobility, and who therefore tend to be more prolific spreaders of viruses than sick or dead people), no matter how hard we try to eliminate transmission, and that public health policy must take a more holistic view that takes account of *all* threats to public health, including mental health (what happened to the idea, fashionable in the late-2010s, that mental health and physical health are inextricably linked and equally important?), and then identify proportionate and targeted measures (such as hand-washing, improving indoor ventilation, and recommending that vulnerable people shield during the peak of an epidemic or pandemic). The last year has demonstrated clearly that there can be no place for crude measures that deprive entire populations of fundamental liberties for such protracted periods of time.

        Time to reopen concerts everywhere (except genuine hotspots that are genuinely approaching a peak of serious cases, provided that such exceptions are very strictly limited to no more than a month, regardless of what happens at the end of that time).

        • Amos says:

          No other public health crisis has infected 100s of millions and caused millions of fatalities. Contact someone in India who is desperately trying to find a hospital facility with oxygen to treat a COVID-infected relative and ask them if this is just another respiratory virus! If we do not stop the replication of COVID we will never get back to a pre-COVID society.

          • Hayne says:

            Why don’t you pry yourself away from media and investigate into what is really happening in India.

    • Martin W. says:

      The decision to reopen concert halls and operas from May 19th was not based on any science. It is a purely political decision by a president who is falling fast in the polls and has an election in less than one year. His concern for human life is not part of his calculations.
      France has handled the entire Covid crisis in their typical chaotic, amateurish and burlesque way, changing course every week and imposing outdated and absurd administrative forms and requirements on its citizens, only to revoke them a day or two later, after outcry, when everyone realised that they made no sense in the first place.
      If this would not involve the loss of human life on such a large scale, the way that France and its bloated and archaic bureaucracy handled this would be comical. Sadly, France has the worst Covid numbers in all of Europe and the fourth worst in the entire world and it certainly ranks as the country that has managed the crisis in the worst possible way. Arrogance and pretension can only get you so far. In France, the Emperor truly has no clothes.

  • Dr. Birchley Poundbottom says:

    This doctor has a simple suggestion: masks. Masks stop the spread dead in its tracks. Why aren’t they wearing them in France?

    • Clarrieu says:

      They are, actually.

    • Sir Simon Fauci says:

      Masks are the single greatest scientific weapon in our fight against SARS-COV-2. If these science deniers aren’t careful, they will summon SARS-COV-3.

      • Anthony Sayer says:

        @ Simon Fauci: thanks for that, I haven’t laughed so much for ages.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        It doesn’t need summoning. That’s the ‘beauty’ of it!! An uninvited ‘guest’ which quickly disguises itself so you think it’s another ‘guest’ altogether.

    • Karl says:

      They have had mask mandates in France since summer. Covid cases still increased rapidly. The same happened in Spain. On the other hand countries like Norway and Finland people did not mandate masks and their Covid rate is low. Masks don’t work. If they did people would have figured that out during the 1918 pandemic and 50 million lives would have been saved.

      Here’s an article from Finland:
      Research has shown that widespread use of face masks have little or no effect on reducing the spread of upper respiratory infections, according to a report presented a government-appointed working group led by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (MSAH) on Friday.

      “There is no scientific evidence for its use,” Emerita Professor Marjukka Mäkelä said at a press briefing to unveil the report.

      • Marfisa says:

        The article is from May 2020, and there has been more recent research that contradicts it.

      • Amos says:

        Further PROOF of the efficacy of wearing masks in controlling respiratory virus transmission is the FACT that since the enactment of CDC guidelines cases of seasonal influenza A in the US is a fraction of norm. No it isn’t because the current strain is less infectious it is because of wearing masks.

        • Saxon says:

          No Amos, you are wrong. Influenza is not spreading since so many people are isolating as a result of Covid. Not interacting with other people is reducing ALL respiratory illnesses.

    • Bruno Michel says:

      They ARE wearing them in France. That is the law. Actually, they are wearing them more than here. They are compulsory both indoors and outdoors. True, some people do not respect this, but that is also true here: a quick trip to Westfield yesterday showed me that the security guard had to remind half the people entering the shopping centre to put a mask on… which many ignored. But people have been wearing masks in France indoors and outdoors, and incurring heavy fines if they don’t, since last year.

    • idiotic comments says:

      Masks do not spreading anything.
      There are decades of scientific evidence and tests to prove masks are totally ineffectual against the flu virus, and equally useless against SARS, because the virii are smaller than the mask filtration abilities, even if they could be proved to hermetically sealing.

      Masks are for boosting China’s GDP, and are wilful propaganda of virtue signalling, nothing more.

    • Saxon says:

      Masks do not “stop the spread dead in its tracks”. They actually only make a rather minor difference. The only way to stop the spread is to stop interacting with other people.

      …but nobody sane wants to end all interaction with other people for the rest of time. So we are going to have to accept that the virus will spread, and learn to live with it.

  • Le Soulier de Satin says:

    I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Everybody is wearing masks everywhere- even outside. We are wearing masks all the time also during musical rehearsals. And we get tested twice a week.

  • Bruno Michel says:

    For once, a correct, concise and factual piece of reporting, without any cheap humour nor attention-seeking comments or partisan interpretations. And with only one typo, too! Is the author gradually moving towards actually proof-reading his texts before posting them?
    The 3rd sentence surely relates to outdoor performances: were any indoor maximum figures announced for after June 9?
    The situation is indeed preoccupying there, and the levels intolerable, although there are very strong regional differences, like everywhere.

  • Please check your info says:

    Come on can you please present accurate information? What is this? Did you even read up on this a little bit?

    1. Over 1000 persons, a vaccine certificate or a negative test will be required to attend concerts in France.

    2. Concerts with audience will only happen in “green zones”, where there are few sick and infected people.

    3. There will be a test concert on 29/05 in Paris and the results of that will inform what happens there after 15/06 which is the earliest concerts with audiences will be possible in the capital and several other places with high population density and not 19/05.

  • Saxon says:

    Norman writes: “France continues to experience intolerbaly high levels of Covid infection”

    Er…the French government evidently feels the levels of infection are tolerable.