France extends its mask rules, still says “very far” from the second wave | News | DW

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On Monday, France made it compulsory to wear a mask in stores, banks, covered markets and other closed public spaces, adding to existing rules on face covering in public transport. Ministers hastened the rule change, after localized outbreaks raised fears of a second wave. Those who do not have a mask in public could be fined € 135 ($ 155), said Veran. The government also aims to have a stock of 60 million face masks by October, up from just 3.5 million at the start of the epidemic.

While the requirements for masks have sparked heated debate in other parts of the world, including the United States, polls suggest that a majority of French people support the measure.

“It’s okay to wear one, I’m all for it,” Elina Outh, a 22-year-old business student in Paris, told Reuters news agency. “What is going on makes sense and I think it should have happened a long time ago. ”

Read more: Look in the eyes: communication in the age of masks

French authorities have reported 400 to 500 clusters of active coronavirus outbreaks in the country, but there are no signs of an imminent “second wave,” French Health Minister Olivier Veran said Monday.

Most of the virus clusters present in the country can be traced to slaughterhouses or other confined places such as nursing homes, he said. Others have also appeared at family reunions and gatherings during the summer vacation.

“At this stage, we are very far from a second wave,” Veran told Franceinfo. “The goal is not to worry people too much, but to keep them on their toes. ”

Read more: French President Macron claims his “first victory” against the coronavirus

The R rate, indicating the level of viral transmission, is now 1.2, which means that 10 people infected will infect 12 others on average. However, other regions report rates as high as 1.55 and 2.6.

France has reported nearly 212,000 cases and more than 30,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Read more: Former French Minister Patrick Devedjian Dies from COVID-19

lc / msh (Reuters, AFP)



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