While the British proverb, ‘Cast ne’er a clout, till May be out‘ warns against forgoing warm clothes until May is over with, the French – not normally famed for their optimism – have the very same proverb, but instead referring to the month of April.
‘En Avril, Ne Te Découvre Pas D’Un Fil…’
And yet while the British waverider, subject to regional legal tolerances as to whether he or she can currently surf as well as matters of their own conscience, has technically been able to surf throughout lockdown, it seems that surfers in France, out of the water since March 12th, might yet be sitting out the month of May for their fortunes to improve.
“All French beaches will remain shut throughout May…”
Following the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s statement yesterday (28/04), while the current national lockdown in France is set to end May 11th, to the dismay of surfers and other water sports enthusiasts, all French beaches will remain shut until June 2nd.
Meanwhile, stakeholders from a variety of water sports groups are pushing for access to the sea, even if beaches are closed following the May 11th end to confinement total.
The FFS (French Surfing Federation) ‘s Jean-Luc Arrassus said today, “(We’re seeking a) transition period between 11th May and 2nd June to give people access to the sea for individual exercise, on the understanding health guidelines and physical distancing are respected.”
Meanwhile, Facebook groups more in keeping with the notorious Gallic spirit of rebellion are popping up advocating an return to the water en masse on 11th May regardless, and a petition to the regional governments of France’s west coast, advocating ocean-going for individual sports has gathered some 17 000 signatures.
Elsewhere on mainland Europe’s Atlantic coasts, reports are that Spain has started to allow surfing again in some of its regions.
The situation in Portugal remains much more unclear, and while there is some justified optimism for a possible return to the water as early as next week, no official announcements have yet been made.