Jean Castex has decided. After 36 hours of waltz-hesitation, the Prime Minister decided that there would be no exceptions to the curfew rule, imposed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in Ile-de-France and in eight of the main French metropolises to fight against the coronavirus epidemic. Despite their appeals for understanding, theaters, cinemas and performance halls will not be able to organize performances or screenings after 9 p.m.
“We must fight the virus, the rule must be clear, and therefore we do not wish to make exceptions, one explains in the entourage of Jean Castex. We are aware that this is a difficult effort for sectors whose activity is mainly nocturnal, but the health situation forces us to limit interactions as much as possible. “
Since the announcement by Emmanuel Macron, Wednesday, October 14, of the establishment of a curfew from Saturday, October 17, the battle was intense between the Ministry of Culture, which supported the request for an arrangement for the world of entertainment and cinema, and Matignon, who highlighted the need for a measure that is sanitary effective and readable for everyone. “The more exceptions we make, the more risk there is that the curfew will not be effective”, explains someone close to Jean Castex.
A “tolerance” of ten to fifteen minutes
At first, the Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot had received the support of Emmanuel Macron, who said he was sensitive to the arguments of cultural professionals, even if the Elysee denies any intervention. For his part, the Prime Minister had received that of Bruno Le Maire. “What makes the strength of a rule is its clarity and simplicity. If you start to increase the number of exemptions (…) we are not going to get out ”, said the Minister of the Economy on Friday morning on BFMTV. “There were discussions and hesitations, but the desire to have a clear rule prevailed”, explains an adviser to the executive.
According to our information, a “Tolerance” ten to fifteen minutes could nevertheless be granted to spectators if they did not have to return to their homes by 9 p.m. after their cinema screening or play. ” But not more “, we say to Matignon. Contrary to what they hoped, the exhibitors will therefore have to end their sessions well before 9 p.m., to give people time to return home.
Anxious not to put more in difficulty an already tested sector, the entourage of Jean Castex ensures that “Reinforced support measures for shows and cinemas will be announced to take this framework into account”. “The State will be at their side”, we say to Matignon. Not sure that this is enough to reassure professionals.