A resort in the South of France has recently been discovered as a COVID-19 hotspot. And it turns out, the place is the world’s largest nudist resort.
According to CNN, Cap d’Agde Naturist Village, which is on the Mediterranean coast in France’s Occitanie region, is asking many of its guests to get tested for the coronavirus after 95 of its current guests and 50 guests who returned home tested positive. These results came after a three day testing period last week at Cap d’Agde. After testing 490 people, 95 came back with a positive result. That said, the number may grow as an additional 310 are awaiting results.
Cap d’Agde has been a celebrated spot for nudists since the 1950s and ‘60s, as LGBTQNation reports. Now it’s not just the resort that’s clothing free, but most of the region too. The region not only gets 35,000 to 40,000 visitors a day, but it also holds several clothing-optional locales. From restaurants and stores to even post offices or banks, visitors are welcome to remain naked within the majority of the area.
The region has also become a gay-friendly locale. As Cap d’Agde Resort states, gay tourists make up 10 to 20 percent of visitors. Even further, the months of July and August see, at least, 3,500 gay vacationers every day.
“It can be argued that Cap d’Agde is one of the best gay travel destinations in that this is a resort that embraces all travelers,” the website states. “The beauty of the resort is that people of all interests visit this resort and you are very unlikely to see any issues here. Everyone tends to be accepted and is very accepting. It is the essence of what Cap d’Agde resort is about.”
But again, the current situation at Cap d’Agde is not a joyful one. Nudists, naturalists, and libertines have been particular targets for ridicule and criticism as the coronavirus pandemic has continued. In March, the Czech Republic issued a warning that all nudists and naturalists should wear masks while walking around clothing optional locations.
“Unfortunately, many of the sunbathing citizens were gathered in large groups, and some were not wearing face masks.,” the police statement said. “Upon the arrival of the police, everyone agreed to respect the government regulation [that face shields are compulsory outside the home]. Citizens are allowed to be without clothes in designated locations, but they still must cover their mouths, and only gather in appropriate numbers.”
According to the Irish Times, Pierre Ricordeau, the director-general of France’s health authority, hypothesized that social distancing policies were probably not upheld at Cap d’Agde.
“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 practise social distancing, whether you are a libertine or not a libertine,” Mr Ricordeau said.
“We are in an alarming situation, therefore we ask that all the people of the village be tested before leaving the place and going elsewhere,” a Hérault Prefecture spokesman told the Sun. “And we also ask all the people who wish to come to this naturist village to postpone their arrival.”
Cap d’Agde is not the only French location to have a rise in COVID-19 infections, however. In fact, France reported 4,897 new coronavirus infections, a new post-lockdown record, this past Sunday, according to Reuters.