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Series Mania still set to go ahead

Series Mania venue the Lille Grand Palais

Lille-based drama festival Series Mania is still scheduled to go ahead later this month, with extra hygiene measures in place to protect against the spread of coronavirus.

At the weekend, the French government passed legislation banning indoor events of more than 5,000 people in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.

Series Mania, due to take place between March 20 and 28, is spread across several locations in Lille and is under that limit. Organisers said today they were pressing ahead with their plans despite the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France approaching 200 with three deaths so far.

A statement from organisers this morning said: “The health and safety of all our audiences, guests, and industry professionals are a priority for Series Mania.

“As of March 1, the French government has forbidden all gatherings of more than 5,000 people in a confined space across the territory. Given the audience capacities and attendance figures for festival locations including movie theatres, the Nouveau Siècle auditorium, Lille Grand Palais and the Tri Postal, all events comprising the Series Mania Festival and Forum will be going ahead as planned.”

Extra measures put in place include hand sanitizers across festival locations, reinforced cleaning schedules for all areas in use by the public, special hygiene notices and extra training for staff.

“We are in close and regular contact with local and national authorities to monitor how the situation is evolving. As such, we will be providing updates to participants with regard to any measures introduced by authorities as they are announced, and will fully comply with said decisions,” a spokesman said.

There remains doubt over the bigger MipTV event, which does breach the 5,000 delegates limit if previous attendance figures are accurate. It is due to take place in Cannes from March 30 to April 2.

Organiser Reed Midem said it is continuing to monitor the situation.

Developments are being closely monitored by French health authorities with everyone concerned working closely with the World Health Organisation.

To date, the French authorities have taken several preventive measures including the introduction of specific reception facilities at airports for passengers arriving from areas where the virus is actively circulating.

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