What are the “enclosed public spaces” in which wearing a mask will be compulsory?

The epidemic is not over, and there are even “Signs that it is starting again a little”. During his televised interview on Tuesday July 14, Emmanuel Macron warned and made a major announcement: the wearing of the mask will be mandatory from August 1 in “closed public places”. According to him, “We do it in transport, it works very well, but it’s a bit erratic in closed public places (…) it means that things have to get organized”.

This measure raises several questions. What is an enclosed space, and why is the government waiting until August 1 to make it mandatory to wear a mask?

See also – Emmanuel Macron “wishes to make the mask mandatory in enclosed public places”

Definition expected by decree

The compulsory wearing of a mask is already in force at the local level, in a town: Saint-Ouen. Faced with a resurgence of the epidemic, the prefect of Seine-Saint-Denis issued an order on July 13 making it mandatory to wear a mask in enclosed spaces. But without specifying the exact definition. In reality, Audonians must wear a mask “in any closed establishment open to the public, whether its activity is administrative or commercial (all shops, town hall, public services, common areas of hotels)».

Regulation at the national level might resemble this model, but the list of “enclosed public placesIs not yet stopped. “There’s going to be a fairly quick job of defining“From the government to find out”what places are we talking about, how does the obligation apply“Said government spokesman Gabriel Attal.

Currently, there is simply no exact definition of “enclosed public place” On the other hand, the service-public.fr site draws up a list of “establishments open to the public“(ERP), recalls BFMTV, defined as”buildings in which outside persons are admitted […] whether access is paid, free, open, restricted or by invitation».

This list could constitute a working basis for the Ministry of Health. The following are cited in particular:

  • public services (health establishments, prefectures, libraries …),
  • businesses,
  • shopping centers,
  • sports halls,
  • places of worship,
  • theaters and screenings (cinemas),
  • hotels,
  • museums.

On the other hand, “a company not open to the public, but only to staff, is not an ERP“, Specifies the site of the administration. Wearing a mask would therefore not be compulsory at all times in offices, unless this was decided by the company itself.

The case of certain establishments could be more difficult to arbitrate, or be the subject of exceptions: crèches, nursery schools and kindergartens are for example part of the list of LES. However, wearing a mask is only compulsory for children from 11 years old.

Securing mask stocks

It remains to be seen why the mask will be mandatory in these places in two weeks, and not immediately. The work of defining “enclosed public placesTakes time, but that doesn’t explain everything. The Minister of Health Olivier Véran raised several problems: “it takes time to appropriate a new doctrine, and therefore making it mandatory within a certain time allows this period of appropriation“He estimated Tuesday, during a trip to the Henri-Mondor hospital in Créteil.

«Then there is all the logistics work, added Olivier Véran. Where do the masks come from? How to ensure that the French have it? We need to be able to answer these questions, so it requires a few days” Long in short supply, masks were mass produced at the time of deconfinement. France has even gone through an episode of overproduction at lightning speed: textile companies had manufactured more than 50 million reusable masks in early June. Can we now expect them to miss again? The government must take stock of stocks to avoid this situation.

By August 1, however, “Recommended to all our fellow citizens to wear the mask as much as possible when they are outside and, a fortiori, when they are in an enclosed place”, also said Emmanuel Macron, whose remarks were later clarified by government spokesman Gabriel Attal. “What you need to understand is that you should not wait until August 1 to wear a mask in public places».

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