PARIS (Sputnik) – The wearing of face masks in public transport could be made obligatory in France starting from 11 May, when the country is expected to ease coronavirus restrictions, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said.
On 11 May France is scheduled to lift the lockdown measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease. France introduced the lockdown on 17 March.
Philippe told reporters on Sunday that masks for the general public could be “made mandatory in public transport” after 11 May. The prime minister admitted that the distribution of face masks could be difficult, but said that companies would be able to sell them “at extremely low prices”.
According to Philippe, educational institutions, stores, cafes, and restaurants will only be reopening gradually and long-distance travel after the lockdown might not be possible for some time.
On Sunday, the head of France’s public health agency Jerome Salomon reported that the country’s COVID-19 death toll had increased by 395 over the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 19,718. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France stands at over 112,600. More than 30,000 people are still undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the extension of stringent social distancing measures that have resulted in the closure of restaurants, parks, museums, and shops until 11 May.