Décision de justice

The closure of nightclubs is justified for the time being because these venues present particular risks

Several organisations representing nightclub professionals have asked the Conseil d'Etat's urgent applications judge to order the Government to authorise the reopening of these venues by 30 June 2021 at the latest. While the health situation remains worrying, the judge observed that the activity in these closed spaces open at night includes close physical contact in a party atmosphere and that it is very difficult to guarantee the respect of safety precautions and the wearing of masks. The urgent applications judge thus rejected the organisations' request.

The urgent applications judge noted that the health situation remains worrying, with the rate of spread of the virus and the occupation of intensive care beds remaining high throughout the country.

The judge observed that nightclubs present their own risks of contamination. Dancing in nightclubs involves close physical contact and the party atmosphere makes it difficult to respect social distancing or wearing a mask. No measure other than closure, or even reopening as a night bar, can provide equivalent guarantees to control the risk of contamination.

What's more, the situation of nightclubs cannot be compared to that of other establishments that have reopened since 19 May, such as bars, which can only open outdoors to this day. Furthermore, the possible authorisation, in the near future, of concerts for more than 5,000 people, gatherings of more than 1,000 people, wedding parties or bars with live music is only an announcement, without legal effect. In the event that these authorisations are granted, the judge stated that it would be up to the Government to ensure that the various restrictions are consistent with each other, with regard to health data and the possibilities of reducing the risk of contamination.

Under these conditions, and while the government has undertaken to re-evaluate its position in light of the health situation in mid-June 2021, maintaining the closure of nightclubs is not disproportionate, given the need to protect public health.

Download French Ordinance No. 452294-452449