France will make it compulsory to wear a face mask indoors in public places from next week, the government has said as the country reported an uptick in new coronavirus cases.
Obligatory gear on collective transport until now, masks will also become mandatory in shops and other indoor places frequented by the public, Prime Minister Jean Castex said in the Senate.
Health Minister Olivier Veran earlier noted “weak signs of a resurgence” in the coronavirus epidemic that has claimed over 30,000 lives in France to date.
“We are witnessing in certain hospitals in Paris weak signs of an epidemic resurgence, which is why I urge the French to remain particularly vigilant, active, against the virus,” he told public radio.
In the latest official data, released Wednesday, France had seen 133 new coronavirus patients hospitalized in 24 hours, and 17 new admissions to intensive care.
This was down from a high of 4,281 people hospitalized in one day in April.
Veran said an uptick in hospital admissions and telephone calls to emergency services were indicators, not yet worrying, that require “special attention” to the possibility of an epidemic upturn.