“We are in a period of epidemic growth,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said. “We want to do everything to avoid a new lockdown.” The order goes into effect Friday.
The French government announced Thursday that face masks will become mandatory everywhere in Paris and its suburbs, including all outdoor public spaces. The heightened mask requirement comes as the number of new COVID-19 cases in France jumped to more than 5,000 in the previous 24 hours — the highest increase since the country came out of lockdown in mid-May.
The order goes into effect at 8 a.m. Friday. The Paris region is one of 21 high-risk “red zones” in France. But until now, masks were largely mandatory only inside shops and on public transportation. People were not required to wear them outdoors, except at street markets and in certain densely packed areas. The new rule means that now cyclists and scooter users will have to mask up as well.
Prime Minister Jean Castex, speaking at a press conference Thursday morning, said France had reached a critical threshold of 50 infections per 100,000 residents, a red line.
“We are in a period of epidemic growth,” said Castex. “We want to do everything to avoid a new lockdown.” [ . . . ]