The sports halls look grim.
While they thought they would finally see the end of the tunnel with the lifting of health restrictions on June 30, Emmanuel Macron's speech on July 12 announcing the establishment of the health pass had the effect of a cold shower.
Six weeks after their reopening and an already strict protocol, sports halls had ten days to implement a new protocol such as cinemas or leisure parks.
All members must now present an up-to-date vaccination pass, proof of recovery from Covid-19 for less than six months or a negative test for less than 48 hours.
"We have the will to set up the health pass, and to participate in the war effort, but we suffer from public incomprehension", worries Virgile Caillet, general delegate of Union Sport et Cycle (USC) which brings together companies in the sports and leisure sector. Between the lack of preparation time and what Thierry Doll, president of the Active-Fneapl union which brings together a large number of sports halls, qualifies as "lack of clarity in government instructions", exasperation points.
"The recommendations change, they contradict each other, there is a lack of pedagogy, we have to go to the ministry's website to find out what to do," he laments.
“The most difficult for us is to match identity (
Editor's note: between the health pass and the identity document
On the one hand, some customers do not accept it, on the other hand, employees do not consider it their job.
"There are a lot of insults and anger towards the managers"
After 48 hours of application of the new rules, the first returns from the managers of the sector are, according to Virgile Caillet, “quite worrying”. Like Ludovic, owner of an establishment in Creutzwald (Moselle) who claims to suffer a new wave of unsubscribes after those of spring 2020. “Since the announcements of Macron, I went from 700 to 400 members”, laments the entrepreneur. In this small room on the border of Germany, he confides in dealing with a population that does not accept health constraints. "Some even prefer to go to Germany to train," he explains, stressing in passing "the lack of consistency in decisions at European level". "There are a lot of insults and anger towards the managers of the sports halls", confirms Virgile Caillet.
Beyond the confrontations with members, the health pass risks undermining an economy already weakened by previous closures.
Of the 6,500 sports halls identified, USC estimates the lost turnover at 2 billion euros.
"It's mechanical, if our customers unsubscribe and we do not manage to recruit new members, the turnover will drop", warns the general delegate.
Why not a photo added to the health pass?
The concern is mounting among the owners of rooms who must also suffer from the delays of the administration. "Some managers have still not received the 'fixed cost' aid for the months of January and February." This system compensated up to 70% of the fixed costs of companies. The cash flow has made it possible to hold on while waiting for the payment of this aid, but the situation remains precarious. "Without aid and with a pool of customers limited by the health pass, the sports halls risk suffering losses that they will not be able to bear" warns Virgile Caillet.
Sports professionals are prepared to implement the health pass but ask for improvements and more support from the State. Two requests are essential for the president of the Active-fnealp union: “We want the controls not to be up to us and that a photo be added to the Pass to facilitate controls. "