Masks now required outdoors in Paris

Nov 27, 2021

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Editor’s note: This is a continually updated story

Due to a spike in new COVID-19 cases across Paris, face masks are now required in certain outdoor spaces following an order issued by the Paris Police Prefecture on Nov. 26.

The police order requires people to wear masks outside in many public spaces, even just waiting in line, including entering markets, schools/universities, places of worship, and venues for festivals and shows.

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(Screenshot courtesy of Twitter)

“The rate incidence, which was between 50 and 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in October, has sharply increased over the past week to 266 cases,” the police said in a press release and on Twitter.

The outdoor mask mandate rolls back the French government’s decision to remove outdoor COVID-19 protocols this summer, including requiring that face masks be worn outside, despite the lack of scientific evidence suggesting that the coronavirus spreads outdoors.

Related: The saga with the French health pass continues; answering your questions about getting one now

The reimmersion of the outdoor mask mandate is a continuation of the trial and error approach taken by the French government’s COVID-19 mandate enforcement.

In August, the country began requiring vaccination proof or a recent negative COVID-19 shown via a digital health pass for entry into most places, including cafes, bars, shopping centers, museums, theatres, cultural sites, public transit and airplanes. French President Emmanuel Macron has said the digital health pass, which was in response to the delta variant this summer, will remain mandatory for anyone over the age of 12 intending to participate in covered activities through at least July 2022.

Although vaccinated travelers from the U.S. have been able to enter the country since June, the process for obtaining the required health pass has changed three times since then, the latest of which directs non-European foreign nationals and tourists to get such pass by showing their CDC-issued vaccination card at a French pharmacy for $40. Those unable to receive a pass may obtain a temporary 72-hour pass by taking a negative COVID-19 test.

Until September, unvaccinated Americans had been allowed to enter the country by showing a negative COVID-19 test before the government reversed course restricting entry, including tourists, to fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. Currently, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Americans are only able to enter France if they have “compelling” reason to do so with approval from French authorities, along with a seven-day quarantine and various COVID-19 testing requirements.

Face masks remain required indoors for all people in France.

Related: The French health pass keeps changing; here are the latest details on how to use it

Featured photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy.

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