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.
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.
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.
Suburban Americans are showing up to beat down the Antifa myth.
The Emergency Election Sale is now live! Get 30% to 60% off our most popular products today!