France maintains Fête de la Musique despite coronavirus

France maintains Fête de la Musique despite coronavirus
Photo: AFP
France will hold the annual “Fête de la Musique” on Sunday, while maintaining health rules to avoid a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To celebrate the beginning of summer, French cities turn into musical street parties every year on June 21st. 

This year, the prospects of maintaining the Fête de la Musique looked bleak as France recently had begun to lift a two-month long strict lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

But after weeks of steady decline in key indicators of the spread of the virus, life has returned to more normal and the music festival will go ahead.

In towns and cities across France, Sunday will be a day where artists set up booths in bars and restaurants and on street corners to perform for passersby.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about France's biggest street music party

At last year's Fête de la Musique, Elton John held a concert outside the presidential palace. Photo: AFP

For Paris – a city that due to its relatively high levels of coronavirus had been unable to fully reopen its bars and restaurants alongside the rest of the country – President Emmanuel Macron came bringing good news on Sunday evening as he announced that, as of June 15th, bars and cafés could reopen fully.

Cities will need to follow health precautions, however, with bars and restaurants maintaining social distancing rules by spreading out their tables and limiting the number of customers.

READ ALSO These are the 11 lockdown rules you still need to follow in France

Culture Minister Franck Riester called on people to celebrate the festival “without mixing in too big groups.”

“We try to offer something that has a nerve, which allows the French to sing, to play music, without taking risks,” Riester told French news channel RTL.

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