Wearing a mask will be compulsory in parts of Paris and its wider region from Monday to combat a rise in coronavirus infections in and around the French capital, the police said.
The mask will be obligatory for all those aged 11 and over from 8:00 am (0600 GMT) Monday “in certain very crowded zones,” the police said in a statement on Saturday, without yet detailing which areas were affected.
“All the indicators show that since mid-July the virus is again circulating more actively in the region,” the police said, adding that 400 people were testing positive for COVID-19 in the region every day, with the 20-30 age group particularly affected.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
It noted that the rate of positive tests in Paris was 2.4 percent in the Paris region, compared to the national average of 1.6 percent.
Paris’ Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo had already called on the police to make mask wearing compulsory in parts of the French capital, notably on the Seine river embankment and in open-air markets.
Since last month, it had already been compulsory to wear a mask in indoor public spaces such as shops across the country.
But several French cites have gone a step further by making mask-wearing obligatory in certain public spaces, notably in Nice and Marseille on the Mediterranean and Lille in the northeast.
France emerged relatively swiftly from its two-month lockdown to combat the virus, and life has generally returned to almost normal with a busy domestic holiday season in progress.
But officials are increasingly concerned with the increasing rate of new infections, in a country which has now seen 30,324 coronavirus deaths.
France on Friday reported 2,288 new infections, a stark increase on the daily figure from previous weeks.
The government’s COVID-19 scientific council warned this week that France could “at any moment” lose control over the spread of the coronavirus.
Developments are being closely watched in Britain, where press reports have suggested the government could add France to a list of countries from where inbound travelers will need to quarantine for two weeks.
On Thursday, Norway said people travelling from France and a handful of other European countries would have to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, citing an epidemic trend that “is moving in the wrong direction.”
Algeria eases coronavirus restrictions, including travel curbs and curfewAlgeria said on Saturday it will further ease its coronavirus lockdown, including shortening an overnight curfew, lifting some travel curbs and ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus infections cross 19.4 mln worldwide, based on official figuresThe novel coronavirus has killed at least 721,902 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Kuwait reports 472 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths in 24 hoursKuwait reports 472 new cases of the deadly coronavirus, which raises the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 71,199, the Ministry ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia records 1,467 new COVID-19 cases, 1,492 recoveriesSaudi Arabia recorded 1,467 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the Kingdom to 287,262, the ... Coronavirus
Children back to school in Gaza after five-month shutdown due to coronavirusHundreds of thousands of children walked through the streets of the Gaza Strip on Saturday to return to classes after five months of shutdown - though ... Coronavirus