Paris mayor plans to make face masks compulsory in the street

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced that she is in consultation with the police to make face masks compulsory on the street in certain parts of the city.

Paris mayor plans to make face masks compulsory in the street
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, right, wants to make masks compulsory in some Paris streets. Photo: AFP

In France it is compulsory to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces, at risk of a €135 fine. However in recent days many local authorities have gone further and made mask-wearing compulsory on the street in towns and départements across France.

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

Now Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced that she wants to follow suit, and has asked the Paris police préfecture to look at imposing a new rule.

However it is not suggested that this will be a blanket rule for the whole city, but will target areas where large numbers of people gather outdoors. This could include the Seine walkways, the Canal Saint-Martin, outdoor markets or popular parks.

Her deputy Emmanuel Grégoire tweeted: “We are currently working with the Paris police préfecture to define in which areas it may be useful to make it mandatory to wear the mask. The city and the police will make a joint announcement when the measures are decided.”


Anne Souyris, the deputy Paris mayor in charge of health, said: “The aim is to slow down the resumption of the Covid-19 epidemic.

“The infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants has risen from 24 at the end of last week to 27.

“The movement has been slow but steady for the past month. A second wave is expected. There is an urgent need to reinforce barrier gestures if we do not want to reach a new lockdown.”

The final list of 'mask zones' is still being drawn up, added Souyris, saying: “We are going to rely on the feedback from the district mayors to define the zones as precisely as possible.

“Wearing a mask is difficult, especially when it's hot. If the zones are chosen intelligently, Parisians will wear it.”

Paris police chief Didier Lallement is working on the list of areas, but has also indicated that the petite couronne – the départements of Seine-Saint-Denis, Hauts-de-Seine and vale-de-Marne which surround Paris – could also be included in the new measures.

Paris was particularly badly hit during the height of the epidemic in the spring, with both the city and its surrounding suburbs reporting some of the highest death rates in the country.

Health experts have pointed to Paris as a possible candidate for a local lockdown if cases rise, as large numbers of people live in densely populated areas.

READ ALSO Why Paris' northern suburbs have had such a high coronavirus death rate


Member comments

  1. I feel like France is once again too slow to respond to the pandemic. Individual cities enforcing different mask rules is reminiscent of the U.S. handling of the crisis. Here in Grenoble, non-mask wearing, non-social distanced crowds are everywhere. Why wait for the inevitable? Require masks everywhere except in the home and in the car. Not only that, require that the mask cover the nose and ban masks with exhale valves. Remember, it’s the carrier of the virus who’s mask wearing is most important. Effective mask-wearing is the only way to avoid another economically devastating lock-down. And it’s not that much of an imposition. Is the French gov. afraid of protesters like in Berlin?

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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.