1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Paris mandates face masks amid case spike

August 8, 2020

The restriction applies to open-air markets and banks of the Seine. After initially containing the virus, France has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases during the holiday season.

Visitors maintain social distance as they line-up at a souvenirs shop at Disneyland Paris as the theme park reopens its doors to the public in Marne-la-Vallee, near Paris
Image: Reuters/C. Platiau

French authorities have mandated Paris citizens to wear face masks in crowded areas and tourist hotspots as coronavirus infections once again surge in the region.

The rate of positive cases in the greater Paris region now stands at 2.4% compared with a national average of 1.6%, according to French officials.

So far, France has recorded around 200,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 30,000 related deaths.

Read more: Coronavirus digest: France says second wave 'highly likely' in autumn and winter

France had largely contained the virus spread in June but the cases are rising again due to people ignoring social distancing rules during the holiday season.

The decision to introduce compulsory face masks in Paris and surrounding areas was expected after Mayor Anne Hidalgo made a formal request earlier in the week. The rule will come into force on Monday.

Masks will be obligatory for all those aged 11 and over "in certain very crowded zones," according to a police statement.

The zones include the banks of the Seine River and more than a 100 streets in the French capital, including tourist destinations like Montmartre, where the Sacre Coeur basilica is located.

"All the indicators show that since mid-July the virus is again circulating more actively in the region," said the statement.

Read more: France expands mask rules, says still 'very far' from second wave

France: Bike boom in Paris

Virus resurging in Europe

Around 400 people are now testing positive for COVID-19 in the region every day, with the 20-30 age group particularly affected.

Several French towns and cities, as well as parts of Belgium, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain, have already introduced similar measures.

French Health Ministry chief Jerome Salomon issued a warning Friday about a clear uptick in COVID-19 cases. "The virus continues to circulate very actively worldwide. There is an upward trend in France and Europe," Salomon told a news conference.

Europe has recorded more than 3.3 million cases of COVID-19 and 212,861 deaths from the virus, according to an AFP tally.

Read more: Is Germany ready for the second coronavirus wave?

shs/dr  (AFP, Reuters)