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HEALTH

Where in France is it compulsory to wear a mask in the street?

Over 400 towns and cities in France have made masks compulsory in some outdoor areas, with first Toulouse and then Nice extending their rules to the entire city.

Where in France is it compulsory to wear a mask in the street?
An increasing number of local authorities in France have made masks mandatory in some areas outside. Photo: AFP

Prime Minister Jean Castex asked local authorities to “extend as far as possible the obligation to wear a mask in the public space,” in a bid to halt the quickening spread of the coronavirus across France.

This week, Toulouse and Nice became the first two cities to declare masks compulsory in all outdoor areas of their cities, but hundreds of places now have rules making masks compulsory in certain areas.

In Nice, the préfecture responded to a request by the mayor for a more “coherent” approach on mask wearing. The rule entered into effect on Thursday morning, making masks compulsory for everyone out on the street at all times of the day.
 
In Toulouse, the rule will enter into effect on Friday, August 21st, from 7am to 3am, for all people aged 12 and over, including those on bikes and scooters.
 
Around 400 communes have so far brought in rules on masks in outdoor spaces, extending the nationwide law that requires everyone to wear face masks on public transport and indoor public places, on pain of a €135 fine.
 
Several départements including Finistère and Côte d'Amor in Brittany and Haut-Savoie in the French Alps have made masks compulsory in all towns, while other large cities including Lyon, Marseille, Lille, Bordeaux and Nantes have made masks compulsory in certain areas.

Paris and four of its surrounding départements – Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Hauts-de-Seine and Val-d'Oise – have made wearing a mask compulsory in certain areas. For full details of the rules in Paris, click here.

The government has not made any national rules on mask-wearing outside, but Health Minister Olivier Véran has urged the French to wear masks in any open-air areas where keeping a 1 metre distance is difficult.
 

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The blue towns have introduced rules on wearing masks on the street. Mostly these rules are limited to certain areas in the the town centre or those that are likely to be crowded, such as historic walled towns. However a series of larger cities like Lyon and Paris have expanded previous rules to larger areas while Nice and Toulouse have made them compulsory in all areas.
 
Local authorities in the northwestern Finistère département have made it compulsory to wear masks in the outdoor markets of 31 communes including the port city of Brest. 
 
In neighbour Brittany's Côtes-d'Armor département, mask-wearing in outdoor markets was mandatory in nearly 70 communes including the picturesque tourist town Dinan.
 
In Haute-Savoie, east of France on the Swiss border, local authorities made masks compulsory in all of the 280 towns in the département, but only in all markets and social gatherings numbering more than 10 people.
 
If you're visiting a tourist attraction you may find that this also has a mask rule, even if it is outdoors.
 
NOTE: This map is no longer being updated but many towns are bringing in their own rules on mask wearing. If you are travelling, check with local authorities in your area.
 

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HEALTH

French public urged to wear face masks again on public transport

With France in the middle of a new wave of Covid-19, the country's health minister has urged the public to once again wear face masks on public transport and in crowded spaces.

French public urged to wear face masks again on public transport

With cases on the rise again, French Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon said she is “[asking] the French to put masks back on in transport” in an interview with RTL on Monday, 

For the time being, however, she stressed it was just advice, rather than an obligation, and masks have in fact been recommended on public transport since the legal requirement to wear them was lifted in May. 

However with France reporting over 50,000 daily cases of Covid-19 the government is clearly concerned by the current wave of the pandemic.

Bourguignon said that “we must protect ourselves and protect others,” adding that wearing a mask is “a civic gesture.”

She urged people to don their masks as soon as they see a crowded train or station.

READ MORE: Return of the health pass? How France plans to tackle new wave of Covid cases

In addition to public transport, Bourguignon is also asking the French to once again mask-up in “all crowded, enclosed areas.”

Currently, masks are only required in hospitals, health centres and places that have vulnerable residents such as nursing homes. They are recommended in crowded spaces where it is impossible to practice social distancing.

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