top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

How do I know if I have to wear a mask in street in France?

How do I know if I have to wear a mask in the street, and what is the fine: I have seen €35 and €135 both being quoted?

Around 1,400 communes in France, including Paris from Monday, August 10, now have decrees making the wearing of masks compulsory in certain streets and other public areas like markets, parks and river banks.

This is in addition to masks being obligatory in all enclosed public areas in France as well as in all public transport in France.

Streets and other outside areas where wearing a mask is compulsory will be clearly marked, with the times when the measure applies. Any type of mask can be worn.

In most places, the measures apply to everyone aged 11 and over, and cover narrow streets and other crowded areas. The time periods for compulsory mask wearing vary.

Read more: France anti-mask movement 'idiotic' says leading doctor

Local authorities, the press and TV stations often have maps showing where decrees are in place but do not rely on these, as the situation is changing from day to day. The below map is from the paris.fr website on Monday 10 August

Both mayors and prefects have the power to impose decrees on mask-wearing. Fines vary, but usually where a decree is made by a mayor the fine is up to €38, and where it is made by a prefect (préfet) it is €135, reduced to €90 if paid quickly.

No central register of fines has been established and many communes say they ask municipal police to speak to and educate people - and only fine those who refuse to wear a mask when told.

The decrees are authorised under laws which previously imposed the lockdown. In theory, repeat offenders against préfectoral decrees, can be sent to prison for six months and fined €3,750.

Read more: More French cities make masks mandatory amid public support

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

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
Visa and residency cards for France*
Featured Help Guide
- Visas and residency cards (cartes de séjour) for France help guide - Understand when visas and residency cards are required to move to France or come for an extended stay - Applies to Britons (post-Brexit) and to all other non-EU/non-EEA/Swiss nationalities - Useful to anyone considering a move to France, whether for work or otherwise, or wanting to spend more than three months at their French second home
Get news, views and information from France