Paris tightens outdoor mask-wearing rules

·2-min read
Masked tourists near Palais Royal, Paris (Getty Images)
Masked tourists near Palais Royal, Paris (Getty Images)

Masks are once again compulsory in some outdoor settings in Paris, following a new order from authorities.

On Monday Didier Lallement, the prefect of police for the Ile-de-France region, issued a new order that has been adopted by all departments in the region.

This follows an earlier order for compulsory mask-wearing in public spaces that was struck down by France’s administrative court last Friday, who ruled it “violated individual freedoms”.

The new decree outlines “a series of circumstances and places in which the population density does not guarantee, without wearing a mask, the proper respect for barrier gestures”.

They include: markets, any gatherings of 10 people or more, bus stops, railway station terminals and their outdoor vicinities, entrances to shopping centres during opening hours, schools and universities during opening and closing hours, and places of worship during services.

The rules were confirmed in a tweet by Paris’s Prefecture of Police, which posted the full release in French, applying both to the city itself and the surrounding departments in the region.

The Paris Prefecture had first enacted an outdoor mask mandate at the end of December, requiring anyone outside in public to wear a mask at all time.

Yet on Friday, Paris’ Administrative Tribunal threw out the mandate, ruling that it was an individual’s personal choice whether or not to wear a mask in outdoor settings.

The day before, a similar order had been overturned in France’s Yvelines Department, near Versailles, with a court calling such mandates “an excessive, disproportionate and inappropriate infringement... of personal freedom”.

Elsewhere, there is confusion for families travelling to France over whether their children and teens will be able to enter indoor venues without full proof of vaccination.

Currently evidence of a negative test or recovery is needed to enter most indoor and public venues in the country. From later this month, though, the pass sanitaire becomes a pass sanitaire vaccinal – with only proof of full vaccination acceptable.

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