Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot announced this Friday January 8, 2021 cultural places may reopen as planned by a staggered reopening, but she did not announce any calendar. The situation will be re-examined on January 20 by Prime Minister Jean Castex and announced the day before, during the press brief.
Reporting 15,000 daily infections, the government made the decision not to reopen places still closed. In other words: museums, movie theaters, theaters, show venues and other cultural venues are to remain closed until the end of January.
But is the sector about to see the light at the end of the tunnel? This is what Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot announced this Friday January 8, 2021 in FranceInfo explaining cultural places may reopen as planned by a staggered reopening. "We are working on staggering this reopening" she said. A reopening that will happen in three steps: "Museums and monuments might open first", she goes on, then followed by movie theaters and living arts.
Even though the minister did not get ahead of herself as for precise dates, there is hope for summer festivals: "I think about summer festivals, I'm confident, we can make it" she adds.
The day before, at his press brief on January 7, 2021, Prime Minister said the reopening of these places will be assessed again on January 20. Yet, Jean Castex does not want to raise false expectations: reopening could be considered in early February, but no date has been given yet. The government seems to intend to stay vague in order to spare players from the cultural sector from making useless efforts to prepare a reopening that might be delayed again.
Yet, Jean Castex once again promises the State will support all sectors on hold: "During this period of closure and limited work, the government will keep on financially support all sectors and players directly affected by our measures."
This Wednesday January 6, 2021 on the eve of the fateful day, no reopening on the horizon: "We have no visibility" Miniter of Culture Roselyne Bachelot said to RTL. She went on to explain that "we lack impartial scientific elements" as for the risk of spreading within cultural facilities. She concluded: "this is heartbreaking, I know the sacrifices it requires".
But there is still a priority: "museums might be the first facilities to reopen" she said, adding that "the reopening of museums, art and cultural education are given priority". Why did they not reopen on December 15 and close again if need be, depending on the health evolution? A question the Minister answered mid-December, on BFMTV: "Reopening on December 15th, with all the issues (...) as of ticketing, the venues' layouts, rehearsals to eventually close on January 2, 3 or 7... I think we would have murdered culture if we would have done so" she said. "What I want is to reopen for good" she repeated on RTL.
This Wednesday December 30, 2020, government spokesman Gabriel Attal also said on BFMTV that it restrictions are very unlikely to be eased off. This Friday January 1, 2021 the spokesman has confirmed on TF1 midday news that it will not be possible to reopen cultural venues from January 7, 2021 and has listed the 15 departments under curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Anyway, the reopening will be accompanied by a strict health protocol to regulate flows in movie theaters and theaters. This protocol has been drafted by the government in partnership with representatives of the sector. Speaking of the protocol, it has been detailed by Minister of the Culture Roselyne Bachelot this Thursday November 26, 2020, during a press brief, saying it was the same as the one instated during the first curfew back to mid-October. Therefore, measures made then - such as facemask wearing, social distancing, and hand sanitizer - will have to be reinstated.
As for museums, same call: they are set to reopen on December 15, including a strict health protocol to instate. Yet, as for evening shows, tolerance will be shown to get back home past 8 p.m. - the famous timestamp scheme - and you will have to show your show ticket to prove your trip. Shows will also have to finish at 8 p.m. maximum, and not beyond. The minister also spoke about shootings, filming and rehearsals to go on, despite these new measures.