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Masks no longer mandatory outside in France: where must they be worn?

We outline the various indoor – and some outdoor – settings where they are still required

Masks are still required on public transport services in France Pic: SibRapid / Shutterstock

France’s Covid restrictions are easing slightly today (February 2), and people are no longer required to wear masks in town centres, although prefectures may decide to impose their own rules. 

Read more: Some Covid rules ease today in France, intensive care numbers stable

Everyone is also strongly advised to keep wearing a mask in outdoor settings where social distancing is not possible, such as markets, crowds, demonstrations or concerts.

Mask-wearing remains mandatory, however, in various public settings for people over the age of six. 

These places include: 

  • Workplaces

  • Large shops and shopping centres of over 20,000 square metres, based on a decision by the departmental prefecture

  • Other enclosed spaces open to the public

  • Entertainment and leisure venues such as theatres, cinemas or stadiums

  • Restaurants and bars including in outdoor terrasses. This is only required when moving about and not when sitting down

  • Ski lifts and in ski lift queues, although masks are not required on the pistes themselves

  • Public transport, whether that be trains, métros, trams or planes

  • Schools, where staff and children over six must wear a mask both in their classrooms and in the playground 

In addition to restrictions regarding mask-wearing, rules requiring people to work from home at least three days a week if possible have also been relaxed today, although workers are still encouraged to do so if they can. 

The capacity limit at sports and cultural events has also been lifted for seated audiences, although masks must be worn in these settings. Crowd limits had previously been set at 2,000 people indoors and 5,000 people outdoors

Related stories 

Boosters, UK travel, masks: February dates for Covid changes in France

Checklist: Where are vaccine passes required in France?

Coronavirus: Daily updates on the situation in France

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