French 'libertine' nudist resort sees spike in COVID infections

by Reuters
Monday, 24 August 2020 13:09 GMT

By Geert De Clercq

PARIS, Aug 24 (Reuters) - A naturist resort on France's Mediterranean coast has seen a sharp spike in coronavirus infections and nudists have been ordered to at least wear masks and practice social distancing, health authorities said on Monday.

Tests had shown a 30% infection rate in people who had visited Village Cap d'Agde - which advertises itself as a village for naturists and libertines - the Occitanie region health authority said.

That was more than four times higher than the 7% rate recorded in other people in the area who had not visited the centre, the authority added.

Officials at the resort, which is about 60 km (40 miles) down the coast from Montpellier, did not respond to calls seeking comment.

The health authority's director general, Pierre Ricordeau, said social distancing had probably not been sufficiently respected at the centre.

"There are infections everywhere, including among people who are not libertines. The message is the same for everyone: wear a mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing, whether you are a libertine or not a libertine," Ricordeau said.

After the tests, the government prefect for the region ordered people to wear masks in the camp, banned gatherings of more than 10 people there and scrapped exemptions on night club opening hours.

He also asked anyone planning to go to the village to delay their travel plans.

Cap d'Agde, set in a huge circular modernist building by the beach, is one of France's oldest and biggest naturist resorts and draws tens of thousands of visitors per day in summer.

On Sunday, France reported nearly 5,000 new coronavirus infections, a new post-lockdown record. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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