The nation was placed under a nightly curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. two weeks ago, but that hasn’t been enough to curb a skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases. The curfew initially concerned Paris and eight other major cities, and was then extended to 38 more locations, in addition to overseas territories, a week ago. But as of Oct. 27, there were 33,417 active cases in the country. Along with Spain and Germany, France is currently a COVID-19 hot spot.
Starting on Nov. 30, all of France will be placed under a partial lockdown and all non-essential businesses will have to be closed. Schools, nurseries and businesses deemed essential, such as pharmacies and supermarkets, will remain open. People are encouraged to work from home, but won’t be banned from going to the office. Outside of office hours, people will need to fill out a form in order to obtain permission to go out for emergencies or professional/health reasons as during the first lockdown period this Spring.
France’s cinemas had already been struggling since reopening on June 22 after a near three-month shutdown and this new lockdown could be a fatal blow.
French distributors such as Gaumont, which was willing to release movies despite the evening curfew, will be putting those plans on ice until the situation improves. Some of the biggest releases that were expected over the next few months included Gaumont’s “Aline, the Voice of Love,” a movie inspired by Celine Dion’s life.
Despite the restrictions on exhibition, the production sector is faring better. Film shoots, for example, are expected to receive special permission to carry on during the lockdown.