France introduces fines for people who fail to wear mask in indoor public spaces

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France has instituted a nationwide mask mandate that includes fines for individuals who fail to wear a face covering in public indoor settings, according to reports.

The French government announced that starting Monday, people can be fined 135 euros, or $154, if they are cited for not wearing a face mask in settings such as supermarkets, banks and other shops, France 24 reported.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the new policy was being implemented as part of the nation’s effort to avoid a second wave of coronavirus infections. France has reported more than 211,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and roughly 30,100 deaths from it, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. However, the country has seen a marked drop in cases over the last few months, leading to a gradual reopening of many parts of its economy. 

Since France lifted its partial lockdown May 11, masks have been mandated for people using public transportation. It’s also required to enter the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Disneyland Paris, which all reopened under modified conditions this month, France 24 noted.

Restaurant workers and patrons are required to wear masks throughout the country. 

A nationwide mask mandate has been proposed by multiple lawmakers in the U.S. as the country experiences a surge in coronavirus cases. But President Trump has resisted the idea, saying that people should have a “certain freedom.” 

“I don’t agree with the statement that if everyone wore a mask, everything disappears,” Trump, who wore a mask publicly for the first time earlier this month, said in an interview with Fox News. 

In lieu of a nationwide order, a patchwork of measures at the state level have been rolled out in recent weeks mandating face coverings. A majority of U.S. states and Washington, D.C., have implemented measures requiring masks in public indoor settings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also released guidance urging Americans to wear face coverings. CDC Director Robert Redfield said last week that the U.S. could control its outbreak in four to six weeks if everyone wore a mask. 

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump fines France mask mandate Masks
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