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

The change will bring the number of departments where masks are not needed for pupils up to 79 with mask requirement returning for schools in Lozère in the south

14 October 2021

From October 18, primary school children in 79 departments will not need to wear masks in school. Pic: Volurol / Shutterstock

Primary school children in 12 more departments in France will no longer need to wear masks in schools from Monday (October 18), due to a drop in Covid cases. 

However, the obligation for primary school children to wear masks will return in the department of Lozère, where the number of Covid cases has increased.

It means that from Monday, primary school children in 79 departments will not need to wear masks in school.

The 12 departments where the rule will be relaxed from October 18 are:

Ain, Ariège, Charente, Cher, Drôme, Gard, Hérault, Moselle, Haut-Rhin, Var, Haute-Vienne and Seine-et-Marne.

The health ministry has said the criteria for lifting the rule is that the department must have a Covid incidence rate (number of cases per 100,000 people over seven days) of under 50 for five consecutive days.

You can see a breakdown of the incidence rate in each department in France at this link. Scroll down until you see the departmental map. 

If a department’s incidence rate increases, mask wearing rules will be brought back in. 

The departments in which primary school children must still wear masks are:

Mayenne, Yvelines, Val-d’Oise, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Essonne, Paris, Jura, Haute-Savoie, Rhône, Ardèche, Alpes-Maritimes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Vaucluse, Bouches-du-Rhône, Aude, Corse-du-Sud.

Lozère will join this list from Monday. 

Read more: Cases rise in Lozère in south, health pass law discussed

Pupils in secondary school still have to wear masks inside, regardless of the Covid case levels. 

All teachers and school staff also have to wear masks inside at primary and secondary schools. 

Related articles:

Dates (and times) of 2022 brevet school exams in France announced

Health experts concerned by effects of Covid on winter illnesses

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