French Defy Lockdown With Festival of Music

Thousands gathered across France on Sunday, June 21, to celebrate an annual music festival, defying COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Revelers ignored social distancing and danced in the streets for the Fête de la Musique. Images posted online showed thousands thronging roads in cities across the country, partying without face masks. Current rules prohibit public gatherings of more than 10 people and require people stay one meter apart.

People celebrated until early Monday morning. Paris police fired tear gas to disperse crowds after some threw projectiles. Seven people were arrested in the capital.

Many criticized the events online, fearing the mass gatherings could lead to a surge in infections. 

On Monday, it became compulsory for all children up to the age of 15 to return to school. Cinemas also reopened. Attendees must have an empty seat on either side of them and wear a face mask. No cinema can be more than half-full at any time.


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