‘It makes sense’: French shoppers take compulsory face masks in their stride

PARIS: From Monday (Jul 20), shoppers entering the bakery in Paris where Kalil Gaci works are required by law to wear a face mask, but his customers are taking the new rule in their stride.

"There's no problem in wearing one, I'm completely for it," said Elina Outh, a 22-year-old business student who called in to buy some of Gaci's pastries.

Advertisement

Advertisement

"What's happening makes sense and I think it should have happened a long time ago."

Government edicts about wearing face coverings to curb the spread of COVID-19 have touched off fierce debate in the United States and elsewhere about civil liberties.

People, wearing protective face masks, walk along a street in Paris, Jul 20, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes)

In France, most people accept them as a necessary tool to fight the epidemic.

Advertisement

Advertisement

A nationwide ruling requiring face coverings in shops, banks, covered markets or any other enclosed public space came into force on Monday. Anyone violating the rule is liable to pay a €135 (US$155) fine.

READ: France says up to 500 COVID-19 clusters but no 'second wave' yet

Ministers accelerated the rule change because, even though the disease has abated nationwide, there have been localised flare-ups that sparked fears of a second wave. More than 30,000 deaths in France have been linked to COVID-19.

France now requires masks inside public places. (Photo: Reuters)

At the covered market at La Baule-Escoublac, a resort on France's Atlantic coast, a sign was displayed reading: "Stop Coronavirus. The wearing of a mask iRead More – Source