«The prefects will now be able by decree to extend the obligation to wear a mask to open public places. This decision can be made locally, depending on the evolution of the epidemic in each territory.», Announced Olivier Véran, Friday July 30, ten days after the obligation to wear a mask in all enclosed places.
The day after this announcement by the Minister of Health, the prefect of the North delimited “a number of areas»Of the European metropolis of Lille where wearing a mask will be compulsory, outdoors. Very quickly, around a hundred municipalities followed.
Yet declared as “useless“In the streets by Jérôme Salomon, Director General of Health, at the start of the pandemic, the outdoor mask has now become”recommendedBy the Minister of Health. “If you are on a street where there are several people going for a walk and you are not sure you can keep the distance, I recommend it. “
Fearful of a new wave, local elected officials preferred to prevent than to cure. Territory in “high vulnerability”, the department of Mayenne, made the wearing of the mask compulsory in 69 of its cities from Monday, August 3, to limit the spread of the virus and to cope with the resurgence of the number of contaminations.
«In the last few weeks», «several epidemic outbreaks have been identified “, alerted the prefect. Vigilance is therefore increased for the authorities who fear an outbreak of the epidemic with the arrival of Augustians and a “virus circulation still active“. Until then, only the main towns of the department were concerned but with the new measure, 30% of the municipalities and 70% of the Mayenne population will have to wear a mask outdoors.
Marseille, Rennes, Ajaccio, Nice …
Marseille, Ajaccio, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Biarritz, La Rochelle, Bayonne, Saint-Malo, Annecy, Rennes, Biscarrosse-Plage (Landes), Le Touquet, Perros-Guirec (Côtes-d’Armor), the dune of Pilat or even the city of Saint-Tropez have also made their city centers and tourist areas only passable by masked pedestrians.
A measurement “necessary to protect summer visitors and Biarrots“, Justified Maider Arosteguy, mayor of Biarritz. “The July attendance was very strong and we fear that August will be even more difficult to manage in the face of the health crisis.»
For his part, the mayor of Tours, Emmanuel Denis, however skeptical a few days earlier, changed his mind on August 2 by making the mask compulsory in “the hypocenter” from the city. Decision taken and extended to the banks of the Loire to prevent “the situation is getting worse“And “Stop this progression”, according to the prefect of Indre-et-Loire, interviewed by the New Republic.
In Nice, only the busiest streets are subject to this restriction. The town hall has also set up loudspeakers to remind Niçois and tourists of the importance of respecting social distancing and the ban on consuming alcohol on the banks of the beaches.
Other city officials have chosen to limit restrictive measures to a few hours of the day. Like the Sables d’Olonne beaches which are closed at high tide, the cobblestones in Orléans can only be walked on by masked walkers from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Outdoor markets are also in the sights of elected officials. Allowed to reopen on May 11, many are once again subject to strict health measures including the wearing of masks. In Blanquefort, Caen, Cannes, Carpentras, Lorient, walkers will be able to buy fruits and vegetables provided they are masked in order to limit the spread of the epidemic.
Paris is also thinking about it
Anne Hidalgo is preparing to ask Tuesday August 4 for authorization from the Paris police prefect to make wearing a mask compulsory in certain streets of the capital. Shopping streets, quays of the Seine, gardens, parks and covered markets would be affected.
The mayor’s request follows the opinion published by the Scientific Council recommending a local containment plan in large cities, in anticipation of a second wave in the fall. “After dropping until June, all indicators now show an increase in Covid-19 in Paris and its region», Declared Anne Souyris, deputy in charge of health, World.
Up to 3,750 euros fine
If a pedestrian does not respect the wearing of the compulsory mask outdoors, he must pay a fine of 135 euros, the same amount as if he did not wear it in an enclosed space or on public transport. If he repeats, the fine increases to 1,500 euros. The law hardens for the rebellious. In the event of a triple offense in less than thirty days, the walker risks six months in prison and a fine of 3,750 euros.
France is not the only country to impose the wearing of a mask. In the UK, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands and Italy, it is mandatory in all enclosed spaces. In case of non-compliance, the citizen risks between 110 euros for the English, between 300 and 4000 euros for the Italians, 350 euros for the Portuguese.
As for Belgians, they are forced to wear a mask indoors and outdoors if the sanitary distance meter cannot be respected.
Sustained circulation of the epidemic
The holidays accompanied by summer temperatures encourage the French to decrease their caution but “virus circulation remains steady“, Said Friday, July 31, the Directorate General of Health in its weekly report.
The day before, the health agency Public Health France also noted an increase in new cases of 54% compared to the previous week, “especially among 20-30 year olds“. Scientists therefore remain very vigilant and closely monitor the figures that may indicate a resumption of the epidemic.
On Monday July 3, visiting Lille where wearing a mask is now compulsory in historic districts, the Prime Minister called on the French not to lower their guard in the face of a resurgence of Covid-19, in order to avoid “generalized re-containment“. The Scientific Council for its part warned that “the future of the short-term epidemic is largely in the hands of citizensIf they do not wish to “switch at any time” in a second wave. He therefore calls on the French to show responsibility by ensuring barrier gestures, the only ones capable for the moment of facing up to the virus.