MAP: The French towns and cities where face masks are compulsory outdoors

An increasing number of French cities - as well as hundreds of small towns - are making masks compulsory outside as well as in indoor public spaces.

MAP: The French towns and cities where face masks are compulsory outdoors
Photo: AFP

Several French cities have announced that they will be following Paris and Marseille in making masks compulsory in all outdoor public spaces.

The French government rule only makes masks compulsory in enclosed public areas – at risk of a €135 fine – but local authorities have the power to go further and many have chosen to use it.

Health minister Olivier Véran has urged people to wear masks “if you're in the street full of people, and not sure about being able to keep a safe distance.”

As France's biggest cities report ever-increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases, many have chosen to make masks compulsory outdoors.

The first city to make the move was Toulouse, closely followed by Nice and Marseille.

Paris authorities later that week announced that masks would be compulsory in outdoor public spaces in the city and its three surrounding départements – Seine-Saint-Denis, Hauts-de-Seine and Val-de-Marne.

Over the weekend Bordeaux, Orléans and Strasbourg also brought in the 'masks everywhere' rule.

Lyon and Rouen followed suit on Monday.

In Strasbourg the rule affects Strasbourg itself, Schiltigheim, Illkirch-Graffenstaden, Lingolsheim, Bischheim, Ostwald and Hoenheim, but also six other communes of more than 10,000 inhabitants in the départment: Haguenau, Sélestat, Bischwiller, Obernai, Saverne, Erstein.


Many other smaller towns and communes have brought in mask rules, while other towns have only made masks compulsory in certain areas, such as crowded tourist areas or outdoor markets.

Here is a selection of the smaller towns.

La Rochelle is one of several towns making masks compulsory in some outdoor places. Photo: AFP

Which towns have brought in outdoor mask-wearing rules?

In Brittany, the measures are widespread. Local authorities in Finistère département have made it compulsory to wear masks in the outdoor markets of 31 communes including the port city of Brest. 

In the popular tourist destination of Saint-Malo, the mayor has made masks compulsory in the walled 'old town' area. Mayor Gilles Lurton explains that the old town attracts “permanent residents, secondary residents, day-trippers and resort tourists, thereby increasing the number of visitors to the old town.”

In the town of Locronan, the rule applies to all streets.

Just to the east, in Brittany's Côtes-d’Armor département, mask-wearing in outdoor markets is mandatory in nearly 70 communes including the picturesque tourist hotpot of Dinan.

In Lille local authorities made masks compulsory in all pedestrianised areas of the town, including parks and gardens. 

In La Rochelle, on France's western coast, every person older than 11 must now wear a mask in the Old Port area as well as the streets and markets of the town's central zone. 

In Cannes masks are required at outdoor markets. 

In Argelès-sur-mer, also on the south coast, masks are now compulsory in the central beach area and in outdoor markets, with a possible €38 fine. In nearby Canet-en-Roussillon the rule applies only to markets. 

Meanwhile, the towns of Grau-du-Roi and Mandelieu-la-Napoule have made masks compulsory on all streets in the town centres, with a €38 and  €35 fine respectively. 

This just a selection and there are more than 400 communes in France that have brought in some kind of regulations, and the list is growing every day.

A full map of the towns affected can be found here.



Member comments

  1. In the Vendée, the only practical advice is to carry a mask with you when you visit a new place. There are rules for the department but Mayors now add particular places, times, or types of route, using their local knowledge. Outdoor markets and pedestrianised streets are examples of the places which can be mask free in one village or town but not another. A market which is mainly outdoors may be classified as indoor because a small part is covered. Local rules I’ve come across all seem to be necessary, i.e. crowded places.

  2. Not true in Mandelieu la Napoule
    I live there only compulsory in enclosed shopping areas not in street or open market.
    Correct facts please

  3. Still no compulsion in Mandelieu-la-Napoule except in shopping malls and shops nothing outside.
    Facts please get it right

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French government votes to allow return of Covid tests at border

The French parliament has passed the controversial health bill which updates France's emergency provisions for Covid - and allows the return of negative Covid tests for all travellers at the border, if the health situation requires.

French government votes to allow return of Covid tests at border

The Loi sanitaire was eventually approved by the Assemblée nationale on Monday after several variations and amendments added on its passage through the Assemblée and the Senate. It was voted on and passed Tuesday, May 26th. 

The bill replaces the State of Health Emergency that has been in place since March 2020 and puts in place provision for government actions should the health situation deteriorate or a dangerous new variant of Covid emerge.

The original text had a provision for the return of the health pass at the border, but this has now been scrapped and instead the government has the right to make a negative Covid test a condition of entry for all travellers.

At present negative tests are required only for unvaccinated travellers, and the new test requirement would only be put into force if a dangerous new variant emerges.

The government will be able to implement the testing rule by decree for two months, but a further parliamentary debate would be required to extend it beyond that.

From August 1st the State of Health Emergency will be formally repealed, which means that the government no longer has the power to introduce major limits on personal freedom such as lockdowns or curfews without first having a debate in parliament.

The bill also allows for an extension of data collection required for the SI-DEP epidemic monitoring tools such as the contact tracing app Tous Anti Covid until June 30th, 2023 and Contact Covid until January 31st, 2023. 

The most controversial measure in the bill was the reinstatement of healthcare workers who were suspended for being unvaccinated – this actually only involves a couple of hundred people but medical unions and the medical regulator Haut Autorité de Santé (HAS) have both been against it.

However the bill allows for the eventual lifting of the requirement for Covid vaccination for healthcare workers, when the HAS judges it is no longer necessary and once the requirement is lifted, the suspended healthcare workers will be reinstated “immediately”.

The bill was approved on Monday evening with 184 votes to 149, the result of a joint committee that was able to harmonise the versions of the Assembly and the Senate.

The final vote passed the Senate on Tuesday.