Masks to remain mandatory in Alpes-Maritimes until November 2

The department’s infection rate of 62 per 100,000 people has been improving but remains above the national average. We explain which places are affected

22 October 2021

Mask-wearing will be obligatory in certain outdoor public places in Alpes-Maritimes until November 2 Pic: Jose HERNANDEZ Camera 51

By Emma Morgan

Alpes-Maritimes’ prefecture has prolonged a decree requiring that face masks be worn in busy public spaces in order to combat the spread of Covid. 

On Monday (October 18), the department’s infection rate was 62 per 100,000 people, and the Covid positivity rate was 0.9%. This marks a reduction on recent weeks, but it still sits above the national average of 48 per 100,000 people. 

Infection rates in the majority of French departments have stabilised below 50 per 100,000 people, with Landes and Cantal seeing rates of just 15 per 100,000 according to Santé publique’s data platform, Géodes

Alpes-Maritimes’ prefecture says that wearing a mask “limit[s] the risk of spreading the virus within public spaces,” and could therefore help to control case numbers. 

In every one of the department’s communes, people aged 11 and over must continue to wear a mask in locations including: 

  • Covered outdoor markets 
  • Brocantes, clearance sales flea markets and car boot sales which take place in outdoor public spaces open to the public 
  • Urban streets where there is pedestrian traffic
  • Areas where there is a speed limit of 20km/h
  • Town centre areas where there is a high concentration of people
  • Demonstrations or protests 
  • Shopping precincts
  • Establishments, places and events where entry is dependent on the presentation of a health pass 
  • Within 50 metres of nurseries and all types of school, for 15 minutes before and after pupils arrive and leave
  • Within 50 metres of all artistic and higher education establishments at times when there are lots of staff and students around
  • Within 50 metres of the entrance of establishments open to the public where it is necessary to wear a mask

Mask-wearing is not necessary in green spaces, on riversides or on beaches.

The French government put an end to nationwide mask-wearing requirements on June 17, but individual prefectures can decide to reintroduce the rules if the local situation deteriorates. 

This has been the case with Alpes-Maritimes, as well as departments including Yvelines, where the mask-wearing obligation will remain in place until November 15.  

Morbihan’s prefecture has also extended the requirement for certain public spaces until October 26.

In Nord people aged 11 and older must still wear a mask in queues, gatherings of more than 10 people, pedestrian zones on Saturdays and during town events, in open-air sports stadia and at funfairs. 

You can find the specific rules for your department by visiting the website of your local prefecture. 

Mask-wearing is also obligatory in all collèges, lycées and primary schools located in departments where the infection rate is above 50 per 100,000 people. 

Read more: More French primary schools to end mask rule (but it is back for some)

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