The French government is sending riot police to the Marseille area to help enforce mask requirements to slow the rise in infections.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced on Monday that 130 police officers were being sent to the Marseille region after expanding its requirements for outdoor masks to all farmers’ markets and other neighborhoods on Friday.
Following the announcement, the country has witnessed scattered incidents of violence from people refusing to wear masks.
The French government has announced that riot police will be deployed in the Marseille region in France. Pictured: People cross the street in Marseille
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said 130 police officers were dispatched to the Marseille area after seeing a spike in coronavirus cases
Last week it was revealed that only Paris and Marseille had major outbreaks while most of the country remained largely untouched.
France’s two largest cities – which have made face masks mandatory in many open public spaces – have both been declared high-risk Covid-19 areas, giving authorities more power to impose tighter control measures.
This means that municipalities can close bars and restaurants, close roads to traffic and restrict access to public transport.
Regions like Essonne and the popular holiday destination of the Alpes-Maritimes have also urged residents to be “vigilant” over the spread.
Infections have accelerated in France in recent days, with 3,015 new cases on Sunday, one of the highest daily peaks since the country lifted a strict two-month lockdown in May.
More than 30,400 people have died with the virus in France, one of the highest death rates in the world.
On Sunday, three new cases of suspected coronavirus were revealed on Sunday by French football giant Marseille, just five days before the start of the new Ligue 1 season.
Last week, it was revealed that Paris and Marseille had experienced major epidemics of the virus. Pictured: People wear face masks as they enter a Marseille shopping center
Marseille has been declared a high-risk Covid-19 zone and the authorities now have more power to impose stricter control measures. Pictured: Two people wear face masks at a shopping center in Marseille
The cases are in the “workforce,” according to a statement, and if confirmed, the number at the club would rise to four in the past four days.
André Villas-Boas’s team have already canceled a friendly match against Germany from Stuttgart on Friday as a precaution.
According to health protocols adopted in recent weeks and awaiting final approval, the four cases could mean that the planned opening of Marseille against St Etienne on Friday could be canceled.
At least 37 Ligue 1 players from 11 clubs have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks.
The vast majority of them contracted the virus after resuming training in June, leading to quarantine and a wave of canceled preseason games.
With only one positive case announced, the other high-level teams of Bordeaux, Dijon, Lens, Monaco and Nîmes did not see their preparations too disrupted.
In contrast, Lille (with four cases), Saint-Etienne (five), Montpellier (six), Nantes (seven) and Strasbourg (nine) have all seen their pre-season affected.
Montpellier, Nantes and Strasbourg had to cancel several friendly matches.
“When the players go negative again, we can use them. But in what state, I don’t know, ”said Strasbourg coach Thierry Laurey.