French regional health authorities on Sunday said there had been a "very worrying" outbreak of coronavirus at a naturist holiday resort on France's Mediterranean coast, with some 100 holidaymakers so far testing positive. Nudists have been ordered to wear masks and practice social distancing, as tests show a 30 percent infection rate – four times higher than other people in the area.
The Cap d'Agde resort in the Hérault region in southern France – hugely popular among naturists – tallied 38 positive tests of Covid-19 on Monday and another 57 on Wednesday, the regional health authority said.
Tests had shown a 30 percent infection rate among naturists in the resort, four times higher than the 7 percent rate recorded among other people in the area. Another 50 holidaymakers had also tested positive after returning home and the results of more tests are expected next week.
The figures are "very worrying", the health authority said, adding that an alert had been issued over the resort.
‘Wear a mask, whether you are a libertine or not’
The health authority's director general, Pierre Ricordeau, said social distancing had probably not been sufficiently respected at the naturist 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," said Ricordeau.
The government prefect for the region has 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.
Officials at the resort, which is about 60km down the coast from Montpellier, did not respond to calls seeking comment, Reuters said.
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 the summertime.
The outbreak comes as France on Sunday reported almost 5,000 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, its highest figure since May, as the health minister acknowledged the risks of surging infection levels nationwide.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)