Paris Orders Mandatory Wearing of Masks Outdoors in Busy Areas as Virus Flares Up

August 8, 2020 Updated: August 8, 2020

PARIS—Paris authorities on Saturday imposed the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors in busy areas of the French capital from Monday as the number of coronavirus infections there rose.

The order applies to people aged 11 and over, the Paris prefecture said in a statement.

“All the indicators show that since mid-July that virus has again begun circulating more actively,” the prefecture said.

The rate of positive tests in the greater Paris region now stood at 2.4 percent compared with a national average of 1.6 percent, it added.

The zones where masks must be worn will be detailed separately, and evaluated on a regular basis, the prefecture said. They will include some densely populated areas in the capital’s lower-income suburbs.

After tough lockdown measures slowed infection rates, many European countries are now watching new clusters flare up after easing restrictions to try to limit the economic damage and alleviate public frustration.

France has made it compulsory to wear a face mask in closed public spaces such as shops and banks since July 21, and Paris joins a growing list of cities ordering people to wear masks in busy zones outdoors, including Toulouse, Lille and Biarritz.

By Richard Lough