top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Why Paris court has overturned rule on mandatory outdoor mask-wearing

Local authorities retain the right to ‘demarcate specific zones where masks are mandatory’

People in Paris wearing masks outdoors

A court in Paris has said that people do not have to wear masks everywhere outdoors except in specifically designated, crowded places Pic: Oliverouge 3 / Shutterstock

Paris has become the latest city in France in which people do not have to wear a facemask outdoors except in designated crowded zones, as the requirement is suspended in court.

The administrative court yesterday (January 13) suspended the prefectural decree that had previously made it mandatory to wear facemasks everywhere outdoors – even in open, non-crowded spaces – in a bid to fight the spread of the new Omicron Covid variant.

The official decision decree will be published today (Friday, January 14).

Lawyer Jean-Baptiste Soufron, who had called for the suspension of the decree, told the AFP: “As it was neither necessary nor proportional, the administrative court decided to suspend the decree.”

Local prefectures still retain the right to demarcate specific zones in which mask-wearing outdoors is mandatory, particularly in high-traffic, crowded areas, and those in which physical distancing is not possible.

It comes just one day after the administrative court in Versailles took the same decision for the department of Yvelines. 

Read more: French court says mandatory masks outdoors is 'attack on freedom' 

The court stated that the decree was a “disproportionate and excessive” attack on “individual freedom”.

The magistrate did concede that even though the risk of infection is “lower in the open air”, it is not “impossible when there is a strong concentration of people.”

As a result, it said that the prefecture has the right to “demarcate zones where masks are still mandatory”, such as in areas that tend to be crowded, or where physical distancing is not possible.

Related articles

Covid France: High court validates rules on mandatory masks outdoors

Recap: What are the rules for wearing a mask in France now? 

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now