France has registered a steady buildup in numbers of corornavirus infections over recent days, which health authorities have described as 'very proccupying', while a slight rise in intensive care patients in hospitals suffering from the Covid-19 disease brought the total across the country by Saturday evening to 400.
After a post-lockdown record level of new coronavirus infections in France registered on Wednesday, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Thursday that the wearing of face masks to contain transmission of the virus is to be made a legal requirement in all public spaces in Paris, adding that 'The spread of the epidemic could become exponential if we do not react quickly'.
French education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has announced that every adult in all types of French schools, which are due to reopen at the beginning of September, must wear a face mask to limit transmission of the coronavirus, overturning an earlier decision to exempt teachers at primary schools from the requirement.
As new admissions of Covid-19 patients to hospitals and intensive care units continued on an upward trend in France over recent weeks, Prime Minister Jean Castex has appealed for 'a sense of responsibility' to encourage young aduts to observe social distancing and mask-wearing after widespread flouting of the measures during the summer holiday period.
Local health authorities have described as 'very worrying' a cluster of around 100 cases of Covid-19 infection at a holiday village for naturists at the Cap d’Agde resort on the Mediterranean coast of southern France.
It is the first time more than 4,000 daily cases have been seen in France since May.
Faced with an increase in infections, especially among young adults, French health officials are expanding mask rules and warning against complacency.
Britain said the measure - which also applies to people travelling from Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba - would kick in from 4am on Saturday.
New measures come amid signs that the rate of infection is accelerating again in France with the health ministry saying the number of confirmed cases had risen by 1,130 over 24 hours.
As of today, the wearing of face masks is now compulsory in all 'indoor public spaces' with fines of €135 for non-compliance but the prime minister still has to clarify the places concerned.
The R rate of infection has risen from 0.92 to 2.62 in just five days in the western region as the summer holidays get under way.
The number of deaths in France from the new coronavirus rose to 30,152 on Friday, the country’s health department said.
TV viewers have watched as prime minister Édouard Philippe’s white patch grew, along with his popularity.
Immunologist Jean-François Delfraissy, head of the French government's scientific advisory council, on Friday pronounced that 'we can reasonably say' the Covid-19 virus epidemic was now 'under control' in the country.