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France heatwave: advice for wearing masks in hot weather

The French government has published advice on staying safe from coronavirus as temperatures in France look set to soar this weekend.

From today (August 6) some parts of France could reach temperatures of up to nearly 40 degrees, prompting the government to issue heatwave warnings. 

And the Ministry of Health and Solidarity has also published advice on wearing masks and maintaining other precautionary measures during this particularly hot period. 

The advice contains the usual measures to take during hot periods, such as drinking enough water, eating well, opening windows at night and keeping them closed during the day, avoiding alcohol and checking on vulnerable family and friends.

Additionally this year, the government has published guidelines on the use of fans, water sprays, air conditioning and masks in line with safety precautions related to coronavirus. 

For example, it is fine to use a fan at home as long as no one there is displaying symptoms of Covid-19, such as a dry cough, a temperature, or loss of sense of smell and taste. It is also fine to use a fan away from your home if you are in a room by yourself. They are not advised in collective indoor spaces - including private places such as offices - even if no one is displaying symptoms of the virus. 

Using water sprays is encouraged to cool down, however, people should not spray their masks. 

“The mask should never be moistened, even if it may give a refreshing sensation," the health ministry advised.

“If the mask is wet, it must be changed because its effectiveness is no longer assured.”

For air conditioning, the government is advising people to clean their units and to ensure that the filter is effective and up-to-date. 

The advice also encourages people to continue respecting preventative measures such as regularly washing hands, keeping a one-metre distance from people and wearing a mask when required by law. 

Read more about the heatwave in France:

Water restrictions in France: where and what changes

France: Heat and storm alerts remain as more hot weather due

Heatwaves and coronavirus: France issues warning

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