Paris imposes mask-wearing compulsory outdoors in busy areas

Paris authorities on Saturday imposed the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors in busy areas of the French capital from Monday to curb a rise in the rate of coronavirus infections, news wires reported. The order applies to people aged 11 and over, the Paris prefecture said in a statement, adding that indicators showed the virus had begun circulating more widely since mid-July.

Masks must be worn along the banks of the River Seine and along the Canal St Martin as well as in open-air markets and other places where social distancing is difficult. This order will remain in place for one month, the prefecture said.The rate of positive tests in the greater Paris region now stood at 2.4% compared with a national average of 1.6%, it said. The zones where masks must be worn will be detailed separately, and evaluated on a regular basis, the prefecture said. They will include some densely populated areas in the capital's lower-income suburbs.

France has made it compulsory to wear a face mask in closed public spaces such as shops and banks since 21 July, and Paris joins a growing list of cities ordering people to wear masks in busy zones outdoors, including Toulouse, Lille and Biarritz.

The number of people in France infected with coronavirus rose by 2,288 on Friday, a new post-lockdown high.

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