What if our indoor padel clubs reopen faster than expected?

After Rennes, the Paris Court pronounces a new decision in “(half) favor”, following in particular the request of some of the members of the organization Union Sport and Cycle being in the same situation as many padel clubs in enhanced alert zones.

The court asks the prefect of Paris to improve his arguments, otherwise the decree will be suspended after October 5.

Sufficient satisfaction?

Damien JACQUART, the Marketing and Business Development Manager of the organization Union Sport and Cycle explains the situation to us:

The UNION is satisfied with the decision pronounced by the Administrative Court of Rennes, denouncing the decision of the prefectural decree to close the sports halls.

This is a very positive announcement on which we would like to provide you with some details:

1- Each administrative judge is sovereign over his territory. If the Rennes TA has annulled this decision, the other TAs are under no obligation to do so (even if they will be informed of this decision).

2- Cancellation is based on grounds for breach of equality and a lack of proportionality.

These reasons for cancellation brought by certain players in Fitness can be transposed to other sports activities on the department.

3- If the Court recognizes that there is an increase in cases of Covid and hospitalizations in Rennes and in its metropolis, it considers that article 4 of the prefectural decree on the closure of sports halls is an infringement :

- Serious and manifestly illegal to freedom of enterprise and commerce, because:

  • a rigorous sanitary protocol is in place (hydroalcoholic gel / reservation method to limit the number of people in the rooms / 5M² between customers / systematic cleaning of machines / ventilation / wearing a mask when traveling / direction of movement / regular cleaning rooms / no face-to-face practice ...)
  • he notes that the cases detected in private sports halls are 2 employees and 1 client (the other cases identified are in rugby and football clubs)
  • it does not follow from these data that private sports halls can be regarded as places of active propagation of the virus, even though these establishments are mainly frequented by a population of young adults
  • even if the ban on welcoming the public is limited in time and space, it is not suited to the aim pursued

- Serious and immediate to the economic and financial situation of the applicants, justifying the urgency of the request.

These elements, validated by an administrative court, can set a precedent and justify in the same way your current steps in each territory to request the annulment of other orders.

The key elements of the prescription

We especially note very good passages in the expected And 12,13 14:

12. It results from the instruction, in particular from the opinion of the High Council of Public Health issued on May 31, 2020, that sports and physical activities contribute to a high risk of respiratory transmission of the virus by oropharyngeal droplets and carry a risk manual transmission due to the presence of shared sports equipment. Due to the existence of these risks, the resumption of physical and sporting activities after confinement was subject to the implementation of a specific health protocol, based on the opinion of the High Council for Public Health. . It appears from the documents in the files as well as the declarations of the applicant companies at the hearing that they have implemented protocols providing in particular for the provision of hydroalcoholic gel at the entrance and at various points of passage, as well as '' systematic hand disinfection when entering the rooms, wearing a mask compulsory when moving around the establishment, keeping a distance of at least two meters between machines and assigning a space of 5 m² per user, the installation of markings on the ground to respect the distance and the establishment of a direction of movement, the systematic disinfection of machines, devices and other equipment after each use, the obligation to book online and the limitation of the number of people present within the establishment as well as the limitation of access to group lessons, and finally a posting of the rules to be observed. Some companies add that they have installed ventilation systems allowing better air circulation.

13. The prefect of police does not establish, nor even allege, that the measures described above were not respected, nor that they would be insufficient. It is also common ground that the physical and sports activities practiced in sports halls and fitness establishments are all contactless, either strictly individual or collective within the framework of dedicated courses and according to a configuration allowing the necessary physical distancing and without face to face between the practitioners. The police chief argues that, given the current situation of active circulation of the virus in Paris and given the specificities of sporting activity requiring physical effort and practiced in closed places without a mask, the protocols put in place in the Gyms and fitness facilities are currently unable to contain the spread of the virus. However, it does not state the existence of any source of contamination in Paris in a sports hall such as those operated by the applicants. In addition, if the director general of the regional health agency of Ile-de-France indicates, in his opinion of September 25, 2020, that gatherings in confined closed spaces remain the major source of contamination, he does not at no time discusses the specific risks associated with the practice of an individual physical or sporting activity or as part of a group indoor class. Having regard to all of these elements, it does not follow from the investigation, given the data and information submitted to the court, that the rooms in which individual physical or sporting activities or dedicated group lessons are practiced 'involving no contact between the participants could be seen as places of active spread of the covid-19 virus, even though these establishments are frequented by young adults.

14. Thus, if the prohibition measure in dispute is undoubtedly limited in time and space and includes exceptions relating to the preservation of academic and pedagogical continuity as well as to the professional requirements of certain practitioners, it does not does not appear, in the state of the investigation, that this measure, which aims the exercise of all the physical and sporting activities in indoor rooms in Paris without distinguishing the activities whose practice induces close contact between practitioners, is strictly proportionate the objectives of preserving public health and combating the spread of the covid-19 virus. Consequently, the applicants are justified in maintaining that this measure seriously and manifestly unlawful interference with the freedom to undertake and the freedom of trade and industry.

Franck Binisti

Franck Binisti discovers the padel at the Pyramid Club in 2009 in the Paris region. Since then padel is part of his life. You often see him touring France by going to cover the big French paddle events.