French Riviera restaurants and clubs are shutting down one by one as maskless partiers and lax rules cause a coronavirus outbreak

  • Saint-Tropez has seen an outbreak in coronavirus cases thanks to loose pandemic rules and lax European travelers, The Washington Post's Dana Thomas reported.
  • Partygoers have been living their best, unmasked lives crowding beach clubs and dancing at restaurants.
  • Marseille and Nice, both in the French Riviera, have also seen parties flouting social distancing guidelines.
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Saint-Tropez has been partying too hard. 

France's glitzy region was a "coronavirus-free bubble on the Mediterranean" with few reported coronavirus cases during lockdown, The Washington Post's Dana Thomas reported. But from July 25 to August 1 alone, per the regional health agency, the area saw 65 new cases thanks to an influx of European travelers and lax pandemic rules.

Restaurants and beach clubs reopened in early June with limited capacity and staff mask mandates, Thomas wrote, but these rules became more lenient as the summer wore on. At restaurants, diners danced sans mask, she said; at beach clubs, waitstaff were often maskless or wore masks improperly and many clubgoers refused to put on masks. Look no further than Nikki Beach, where unmasked revelers were seen living it up in late July.

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"Wearing masks [is] not a sexy look, that's for sure," Patrice de Colmont, owner of the famous beach retreat Club 55, told Thomas. 

Now, Saint-Tropez is reaping the consequences in the form of an outbreak, new mask mandates, and closures. According to Thomas, three restaurants — Indie Beach House, Pablo, and Noto — were shut down after employees tested positive for the coronavirus, and two clubs — Moorea and Verde — were closed for ignoring social distancing rules.

But Saint-Tropez isn't the only place in the French Riviera with a pandemic party problem. In Nice, 5,000 people attended an EDM concert in July and ignored social distancing rules. In the nearby Marseille, also in July, partiers crowded rafts transformed into dance floors for the fourth annual Paradis en mer Festival and swarmed the nightclub Baou.

The parties aren't confined to the Cote d'azur either. In August, a reported 10,000 people attended an illegal outdoor rave party in France's remote Lozere region.

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