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COVID-19: France to ramp up police checks to ensure masks are worn

COVID-19: France to ramp up police checks to ensure masks are worn

FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective masks walk near the Louvre Museum as France reinforces mask-wearing as part of efforts to curb a resurgence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across the country, in Paris, France August 6, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS: France will gradually ramp up police checks to ensure people wear face masks where it is mandatory and respect social distancing amid a new surge of COVID-19 infections, the government's spokesman said on Wednesday (Aug 12).

"We're at a tipping point ... We're going to mobilise polices forces to make checks," BFM TV showed Gabriel Attal telling journalists while visiting the Mediterranean island of Corsica.

"But it's not the police people should be afraid of ... they should fear the virus, that lurks and contaminates," he said.

READ: Paris orders mandatory wearing of masks outdoors in busy areas as COVID-19 flares back

The wearing of masks in some crowded areas around Paris became compulsory on Monday as part of a drive to stem a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections.

The order, which applies to people aged 11 and over, covers busy outdoor areas in the French capital, although tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees boulevard were not listed.

READ: French hospitals see first rise in COVID-19 patients since end of lockdown

France has made it compulsory to wear a face mask in closed public spaces such as shops and banks since Jul 21, and Paris joins a growing list of cities ordering people to wear masks in busy zones outdoors, including Toulouse, Lille and Biarritz.

After tough lockdown measures slowed infection rates, many European countries are now watching new clusters flare up after easing restrictions to try to limit the economic damage and alleviate public frustration.

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Source: Reuters/aa

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