France to introduce mandatory masks in public from Aug.1st as Covid-19 infections rise
French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he favours making face masks mandatory in public indoor spaces to curtail the coronavirus pandemic. He also said there were warning there were signs infections in France were picking up again.
"I would like to make masks mandatory in all enclosed public spaces," he said in a televised interview for the national celebrations around Bastille Day on July 14.
He said the measure could come into force as early as August 1st.
Responding to concerns that infections are again on the up in France he added: "We have indications that (the outbreak) is accelerating a bit."
He said in particular that the virus reproduction rate, the "R" ratio, had risen above one in France, meaning that a single person infected with COVID-19 is likely spreading the disease to others.
Masks are already required on public transport across France, "but it's a little spotty in enclosed public spaces", Macron acknowledged.
Prominent doctors urged the government this week to require masks in order to prevent a second wave of cases that could again overwhelm hospitals.
The mayor of Saint-Ouen, a suburb just north of Paris, on Monday made masks mandatory after several coronavirus cases were discovered at a school.
Asked if France had enough face masks in case of a new spike in cases, Macron said: "We will be ready."
"We have secured both the stocks and the supply sources, and we are organised on the ground, to allow us to deal with an upsurge, if it comes," he said.
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