Feb 16th, 2022, 12:00 AM

Party in the F.R.A.

By Lily Pike
Photo credit: Unsplash/Colin Lloyd
Students eager to return to nightclubs after two months of being closed

After being closed for nearly two months, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced in late January that nightclubs would be allowed to reopen starting on Feb. 16. This news comes after two years of on and off Covid-19 regulations in regards to what capacity nightclubs are allowed to function at, and after the recent winter surge of COVID, nightclubs have remained firmly shut to the public.

Sydney Brooke, a visiting student from Loyola University Maryland, said that she is looking forward to going out to nightclubs. “I feel like it will really give us the opportunity to see a lot of the culture and character of the city,” Brooke said. “Especially as an American student studying abroad I am hoping that it will allow us to interact with more locals and get the true experience of French nightlife.”

Brooke said that the Paris nightlife scene had been a major factor in her decision to come to the city for the semester. “I was debating between a few different cities in Europe, but eventually I knew Paris would be the best fit for me,” she said. “It was super disappointing to find out that the nightclubs were shut indefinitely, but now that they’re finally opening back up I’m excited to get to know the city even more.”

Photo credit: Unsplash/Marc Schulte

Nightclubs in France have been completely shut down since December 6th, and at the time were assumed to be able to reopen after four weeks. This was extended several times until finally, the 16th of February has been officially named the date of reopening. With this comes concerns over whether it is safe to be reopening in the midst of one of the most contagious waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jenna Miller, a Junior at AUP, describes the complicated mixture of feelings she has towards this announcement. “I think it is extremely important to stay mindful of COVID,” Miller said. “But I do have high hopes because of the mandatory Pass Sanitaire in France, and the fact that this will allow for nightclubs to open as safely as possible.”

Right now it is necessary for every resident of France to show proof of vaccination to enter almost every establishment in the country, including bars, restaurants and cinemas. The same would be required of those who wish to enter nightclubs, as French President Emmanuel Macron has said he is hoping to put pressure on those who remain unvaccinated through preventing them from attending many social activities. Right now over 77% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated, with the number steadily rising.

Photo credit: Unsplash/Billy

Sam Crocker, a visiting student from the University of San Francisco, pointed to the risk factor present with the upcoming reopening. “I think that this is something people are very excited about,” Crocker said. “Realistically everyone must assume that they are at risk whenever they go outside, there is always the chance you could get COVID and people understand this.”

Crocker said she's excited about the news, due to the fact that she was in Paris last semester to experience the nightclubs before the shutdown. “All my friends who were only staying for one semester dragged me out to the clubs the day before they closed,” Crocker explained. “It was packed, and the bond we experienced with everyone there was amazing.”

Though the Omicron wave of the virus isn't yet over, some think the country is able to take steps towards the return to a normal life. Miller said that she too is eager for this return after the past few months of being unable to go to the clubs. “After losing so much of our young adult lives to COVID,” Miller said, “It is just so exciting to finally be able to have this experience and to stop missing out on things because of the pandemic.”