Cannes Film Festival COVID Testing System Hit with Glitches, 8 Hour Wait Times

People walk by the Palais des festivals at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 13, 2019. The Cannes film festival runs from May 14th until May 25th 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris

The Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France — which took a hiatus last year due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic — ran into an early hiccup at this year’s event when the system for its on-site coronavirus testing facility went down for about an hour, prohibiting entry for those who had arrived with booked appointments.

Early risers who waited in line from 8:00 a.m. at the testing facility were eventually turned away when staff found themselves unable to register coronavirus tests, according to a report by Deadline.

One facility employee told Deadline that there was a connection problem with the central server. The problem was eventually resolved, and the testing facility was fully operational by 9:30 a.m.

Early arrivals were also able to check into the event on Sunday, although some attendees reported waiting for up to eight hours for their coronavirus test results — rather than the advertised six-hour wait.

Moreover, on Sunday, early arrivals reportedly experienced a different type of coronavirus testing process involving a saliva collection that — instead of a nasal or throat swab — with which many attendees were not familiar.

Attendees were directed to stand in small individual booths, where they delivered a certain amount of saliva into a tube, reportedly resulting in the testing facility ringing with the sound of people collecting spit.

As for non-vaccinated event attendees, they must constantly present a negative coronavirus test result less than 48-hours old in order to access certain areas of the festival, reports Deadline.

This means the unvaccinated attendees will have to get tested every two days throughout their stay. These rules reportedly also apply to vaccinated people arriving from non-European countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

Festival organizers have reportedly imposed a host of environmental measures as well, including a ban on plastic, and a red carpet made from recycled material.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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