Rules for wearing a mask at work in France

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Masks will be mandatory in offices and other workplaces in France from tomorrow, Tuesday September 1, as the country tries to control a peak in coronavirus cases.He comes as the government encourages the country to return to work in order to fill an 11% hole in its budget.

Health officials have suggested that nearly a quarter of the new clusters are related to workplaces.

France imposed one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns in March, which was gradually lifted from May 11. The country has seen a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases since July – and masks are already mandatory in closed public spaces, such as shops. Several cities have also ordered their use in busy outdoor areas.

So far, however, the French government has only advised the wearing of masks at work when social distancing is not possible.

But, from September 1, face masks will be mandatory in all workspaces, except inside individual offices.

Read more: Masks mandatory at work in France: FAQ

The rules will apply to all offices or workplaces with more than one person, and to all areas where staff are likely to intersect or come into contact with others. It will be up to the employer to ensure that all employees have access to face masks, even if the Minister of Employment Elisabeth Borne has urged companies to favor remote work as far as possible.

The rules will also apply to meeting rooms, corridors, locker rooms and open spaces or open-plan offices. Masks will still be mandatory even if plexiglass or other separators between workers are installed and must be worn when moving within the workspace.

It will be up to the company, the workplace or the office to enforce the rules. Any employee who refuses to wear a mask, or who does so inappropriately, can be subject to disciplinary sanctions imposed by his employer, said the Minister of Employment, Elisabeth Borne.

Masks are also compulsory in middle and high schools.

Read more: What are the red zones and vulnerable departments in France?

Read more: Anti-mask demonstration in Paris ends with massive fines

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