Wearing a mask outdoors compulsory in Paris from Friday
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Wearing masks even outdoors will be mandatory in Paris from Friday, French authorities said, as the country struggles to cope with a wave of Omicron. France leads Europe in new infections, with a record 208,000 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours on Wednesday.
That figure was preceded by a previous daily record of 180,000 new cases on Tuesday.
“I would no longer call Omicron a wave, I would call it a tidal wave,” French Health Minister Olivier Véran told lawmakers on Wednesday.
Véran said that at the current rate, two people in France test positive for Covid-19 every second, noting that the situation in hospitals was worrying.
The mandate will apply from Friday to all people over 11 years except people inside vehicles, cyclists, users of two-wheelers such as scooters and athletes, said the Paris police headquarters in a press release.
Paris had previously imposed the wearing of the mask outside in August 2020.
French Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne announced Thursday that working from home is now compulsory, with companies facing a fine of up to € 1,000 per employee for companies that do not comply.
Beyond France, a record number of new cases were recorded on Tuesday and Wednesday in Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Malta while the average number of daily cases of Covid-19 in the United States has reached a record high of 265,000, according to John Hopkins University. The previous US record was 250,000 cases per day, set in mid-January.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)