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New government measures: Where are masks now obligatory in France?

In the wake of the new anti-Covid measures, we look at where face masks are now mandatory

11 new anti-Covid measures were announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex on December 27 Pic: Hananeko_Studio / Shutterstock

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Monday (December 27) that “mask-wearing, already obligatory in all inside spaces, will be extended to all town centres,” as he detailed a series of measures aimed at fighting the current surge in Covid cases. 

Read more: France announces 11 new anti-Covid measures

“Prefects will put the necessary arrangements in place with mayors,” Mr Castex added.

However, it now appears that it is up to local prefectures to decide the mask-wearing requirements to be imposed in their department, and so the rules in place vary depending on the area of France. 

We look at the places in which mask-wearing is now compulsory.


Some 47 departments have decided to reintroduce mask-wearing rules in outdoor spaces after the nationwide requirement was relaxed in June. 

The departments concerned at the time of writing (December, 31) are: Aisne, Alpes-Maritimes, Ardennes, Ariège, Bouches-du-Rhône, Cher, Côtes-d'Armor, Deux-Sèvres, Esssonne, Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Finistère, Haut-Rhin, Haute-Savoie, Haute-Vienne, Hauts-de-Seine, Hérault, Ille-et-Vilaine, Isère, Landes, Loir-et-Cher, Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Marne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Morbihan, Nord, Orne, Paris, Pyrénées-Orientales, Rhône, Sarthe, Seine-et-Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Territoire de Belfort, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise, Var, Vendée and Yvelines. 

In Paris, masks must be worn in the street from today (December 31), but not by children under 11, cyclists or people who are carrying out other forms of exercise. The authorities of Lyon and Villeurbanne (Rhône) have adopted similar measures. 

Read more: Face masks obligatory in streets of Paris from December 31

Guadeloupe, Réunion and Martinique have also brought the requirement back. 

However, while mask-wearing may be compulsory everywhere in some departments, others have only reimposed the measure in certain town centres or in specific places, so it is best to check the new rules on your local prefecture website. 

Even departments which have not reintroduced mask-wearing outdoors do impose the requirement in certain cases, for example, outside nurseries and schools, around vaccination centres and in Christmas markets. 

People who are found not to be wearing a mask when required could face a fine of up to €135.

Ski resorts 

People queueing to use ski lifts must make sure they wear a mask and have their health pass with them. 

Read more: Masks, passes: what Covid rules apply for this ski season in France?

Outdoor markets 

The French government announced in November that mask-wearing was obligatory for everyone over the age of 11 in both covered and open-air markets.


Face masks have long been compulsory in most indoor spaces in France. 

The French government website states that: “Mask wearing is obligatory in all establishments which receive the public and in enclosed spaces, including those which are subject to the health pass.” 

This includes shops, shopping centres, museums and cinemas, as well as restaurants and bars when you are not seated. 

The government also states that: “Mask-wearing is obligatory in public transport for all people aged 11 and over.” Masks must also be worn in station buildings and on platforms. 

Related stories 

Omicron now dominant variant in France but hospitalisations ‘stable’

Covid boosters, vaccine passes: What changes in France on January 15?

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