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05 Aug 2020 | 04:49 PM UTC

France: Outdoor face mask use in COVID-19 hotspots to be heightened as of August 10 /update 32

France News Alert

Outdoor face mask use in COVID-19 hotspots to be mandatory from August 10; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/5/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Paris). COUNTRY/REGION France

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From Monday, August 10, face mask use in certain busy outdoor public areas in France will be mandatory due to the emergence of new clusters of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The areas affected include the Mayenne department, where masks must now be worn in 69 towns in outdoor spaces. Biarritz and Bayonne in ‎Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, Saint-Malo (‎Ille-et-Vilaine department), Le Touquet (‎Pas-de-Calais department), and Orléans (Loiret department) have also imposed the wearing of face coverings in the centre of town and in outdoor markets. Also included in the measure are parts of Lille (‎Nord department) and Nice (Alpes-Maritimes department). Other towns and areas will likely be included in the measure in the short term. 

Face masks were already mandatory in public indoor spaces as of July 20. Those who are found to be in breach of the measure may be fined up to 135 EUR (154 USD). For people working in communal offices, the government has said employers will have to judge the need for mask-wearing on a case-by-case basis.

As of Wednesday, August 5, health authorities have confirmed 216,193 COVID-19 cases with 30,177 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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