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France confirms where masks are mandatory from tomorrow

France has issued a partial list of “indoor, enclosed” places in which masks are to become obligatory from tomorrow (Monday July 20), alongside further recommendations of how to wear a mask safely and effectively.

Health minister Olivier Véran tweeted: “Wearing a mask will be obligatory in enclosed spaces, as announced by [Prime Minister] Jean Castex. This includes shops, establishments open to the public, covered markets, banks…”

He also reminded people that “barrier gestures and testing remain essential to fight effectively against this virus”.

Shopping association la Fédération du Commerce et de la Distribution (FCD) confirmed that the rule would especially apply in food shops and supermarkets, including at Auchan, Aldi, Carrefour, Colruyt, Cora, Groupe Casino, Intermarché, Leclerc, Lidl, Netto, Supermarché Match and Système U.

The masks will be mandatory for everyone over the age of 11, but are prohibited for children under three. Children aged 3-11 only need to wear a mask if they have virus symptoms, for example if they are waiting to be collected from school after falling ill (but should then self-isolate completely once symptoms appear).

Read more: Children and masks: what are the rules in France?

Mandatory mask calls

Prime Minister Mr Castex announced on Thursday July 16 that masks would be mandatory across France in indoor spaces from Monday.

The government had originally said the rule would be enforced from August 1 - as President Emmanuel Macron said in his July 14 speech - but this was then brought forward after many medical authorities and doctors called for masks to be mandatory as soon as possible.

Mr Castex said: “I have heard and understood that this [original] deadline appeared late and raised further questions.”

Read more: Masks mandatory indoors in France next week (not August 1)

Read more: Leading French doctor joins call for mandatory indoor masks

Read more: Doctors in France call for face masks in indoor public areas


Masks: How-to

Masks can be made of paper or fabric, and be shop-bought or handmade, as long as they conform to standards set by the Association Française de Normalisation (AFNOR).

Your mask must be strong enough to properly cover your nose and mouth, and remain in place without you needing to adjust it.

Further advice and rules on how to wear a mask correctly include:

  • Before touching your mask to put it on, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Put the mask on by touching the elastic or straps only (not the fabric part)
  • Ensure the mask is as tight and closed as possible, without it interfering with your breathing
  • The mask should cover your nose and mouth completely, down to your chin and to the bridge of your nose
  • If you wear glasses, it should be adjusted so it does not cause your lenses to steam up
  • Once the mask is on, you should not touch it, adjust it, or remove it until you are safely back inside or away from a public area
  • One mask should not be worn for longer than four hours at a time
  • Wash your hands thoroughly - or use alcohol sanitiser gel - before removing it
  • Paper masks should be thrown away into the recycling; fabric masks should be washed immediately after use, in a wash of 60C for at least 30 minutes
  • Paper masks should not be reused; fabric masks must be washed (as above) and left to dry completely before reuse
  • After removal of the mask and placing in the recycling/washing machine, wash your hands again

Related stories

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Masks to become obligatory in indoor public spaces in France

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