Paris local authorities were among many who imposed extra mask-wearing rules, in addition to the national requirement that masks be worn in all indoor public spaces and on public transport.
The Paris rule mandated masks at all times in all outdoor areas including on the street – but the rule has now been suspended by a court which ruled it “an excessive, disproportionate and inappropriate (…) infringement of individual freedom”.
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The administrative court has suspended the préfectoral decree which imposed the Paris rule, and comes a day after a similar rule for the greater Paris area of Yvelines was also suspended.
Dozens of other local authorities around France had imposed extra requirements for mask-wearing outdoors, and although the Paris decision has no direct effect on other areas, it could open the door to further appeals.
Paul Cassia, one of the lawyers who brought the challenge against the Paris rule, told Le Parisien: “The order was illegal because it relates to a general and absolute obligation, which is only very rarely admitted by the administrative judge.
“Freedom is the rule and the police measure is the exception. It is this very classic maxim which is applied today.”