Region in NW France takes lead in mandating face masks

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PARIS, July 16 (Xinhua) — The region of Mayenne in northwestern France ordered the public on Thursday to start wearing face masks in all public spaces after an increase in the number of coronavirus infections in six communes.

The wearing of face masks in public spaces is now mandatory in Mayenne’s six municipalities, including the main city Laval, the prefecture said in a press release.

From next week, the wearing of face masks will be mandatory in all indoor spaces frequented by the public throughout the country, Prime Minister Jean Castex told the Senate earlier in the day.

Mayenne took action ahead of the whole nation following Minister of Health Olivier Veran’s intervention. Veran told France Inter radio that he had asked the Mayenne prefecture to make the wearing of masks mandatory “without waiting” because the epidemic situation there was “problematic.”

Mayenne has slightly exceeded the alert threshold with 50.1 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants detected in seven days. The reproduction rate, known as the “R0” rate, is around 1.50 in Mayenne, higher than 1.20 at the national level, according to the Public Health Agency.

A massive screening plan for the entire population aged over 10, or some 300,000 people, was launched in the region at the beginning of this week. Enditem

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