- 14 Jul 20
France has confirmed 160,377 cases of the virus and 29,640 deaths - the fifth-highest tally worldwide.
Images and videos published online showing British tourists partying in Magaluf and French festival-goers at their annual Fête de la Musique have drawn sharp criticism from the public and authorities alike.
Thousands of people gathered across France over the weekend to celebrate the music festival, defying coronavirus lockdown restrictions and social distancing.
Known as Music Day in English, millions of French people pour onto the streets every year to celebrate at official events and impromptu concerts.
Police clashed with Parisian revellers and demonstrators in Nantes, using tear gas against protestors.
A prominent French music producer hosted the set on Saturday night, with crowds massing on central Nice's famous Promenade des Anglais esplanade.
President Emmanuel Macron declared a "first victory" over Covid-19 earlier this month, with schools reopening for all pupils under the age of 15 yesterday (July 13).
France currently has the fifth-highest tally worldwide, just ahead of Spain.
Health minister Olivier Véran asked people to "continue to respect social distancing measures in all circumstances, to protect yourself and your loved ones".
Current rules prohibit public gatherings of more than 10 people, hence why the videos of festival attendees in major crowds without masks caused concern and frustration across the country.
In France, people are expected to maintain one metre distance from each other in public, masks are required on all public transport and gatherings of 5,000 or more will not be allowed until 31 August.
Une voiture de police prise pour cible aux Invalides doit prendre la fuite après une pluie de projectiles.
Plusieurs milliers de personnes sont aux Invalides pour la fête la de musique. #FeteDeLaMusique pic.twitter.com/vEGT7SCRzx
— Remy Buisine (@RemyBuisine) June 22, 2020
The mayor of Nice commented that he regretted a lack of social distancing at a shoreside DJ set over the. weekend, vowing that in future masks would be obligatory at outdoor crowded events such as Music Day.
The density of the dancing crowds provoked online fury at a crucial time when France is wary of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We regret that these rules have not been sufficiently respected," mayor Christian Estrosi wrote on Twitter.
"In Nice, it will now be mandatory for all our events," he added.
Spanish people also fear that the sacrifices made during the coronavirus quarantine will be in vain after tourists from overseas (mainly Britain) flouted mask and social distancing regulations in Mallorca.
Footage of drunken British tourists dancing on cars in the Mallorcan resort of Magaluf went viral last weekend, with altercations between locals and tourists over the issue in Magaluf.
At least 60 illegal parties have been reported to the island’s authorities, with party organisers facing fines of up to €600,000.
Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn, has condemned the behaviour of Germans partying in Mallorca.
“We have to try to prevent infections, particularly now in the holiday season,” Spahn said. “We don’t automatically have to see a second wave in the fall and winter. Together as a society we can prevent that, as we did before.”
Fears about the long-term economic damage to the country if tourism does not pick up are still prevalent.
The tourism industry represents 12% of Spanish GDP, and in coastal areas and the islands it is the major source of income and jobs.
Spain has the sixth highest number of Covid-19 deaths and the third highest death rate per capita from the virus in the world.
The Balearics have reported 2,377 cases of Covid-19 and 229 deaths, the majority in Mallorca.
— Guillermo Esteban (@GuillEsteban) July 11, 2020