France makes masks mandatory everywhere in Paris from Friday
By Elizabeth Pineau and Sudip Kar-Gupta PARIS (Reuters) - Face masks must be worn everywhere in the French capital Paris from Friday morning in order to curb a surge in coronavirus infections, police said on Thursday. The measure applies to all pedestrians as well as cyclists in Paris and its suburbs in an area that includes three neighbouring departments that form the Petite Couronn inner ring around Paris, a densely populated area with a total population of nearly seven million people
By Elizabeth Pineau and Sudip Kar-Gupta
PARIS (Reuters) - Face masks must be worn everywhere in the French capital Paris from Friday morning in order to curb a surge in coronavirus infections, police said on Thursday.
The measure applies to all pedestrians as well as cyclists in Paris and its suburbs in an area that includes three neighbouring departments that form the Petite Couronn inner ring around Paris, a densely populated area with a total population of nearly seven million people.
Motorists will not have to wear a mask inside their car.
"The deterioration of the health situation...has led the prefect to take this strong measure in the interest of the population," the Paris police prefecture said in a statement.
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex said the government would order the mandatory wearing of masks across Paris but he did not give a deadline or specify the area.
"The virus is spreading all over the country... The spread of the epidemic could become exponential if we do not react quickly," he said.
The reproduction "R" number of infections in France has risen to 1.4, Castex said, meaning that every 10 people with the virus will infect another 14. An R number above 1 can lead to exponential growth.
France made it compulsory to wear a mask in closed public spaces such as shops and banks on July 21, and in early August it became compulsory outdoors in crowded parts of the city.
Castex, who oversaw France's emergence from lockdown before his appointment as premier in July, has said life must go on but that France will not let down its guard as scientific advisers warn of a second wave hitting in the autumn.
France reported 5,429 new daily infections on Wednesday, a new post-lockdown high and a level not seen since the height of the epidemic in early April.
Infections were rocketing among young people, Castex said, as he urged grandparents not to pick up their grandchildren from school when the academic year begins on Sept. 1.
The total number of people infected with the virus in France now stands at 253,587. A total of 30,544 deaths have been recorded.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Matthieu Protard, Myriam Rivet and Geert De Clercq; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.