Paris tourists confused about when to wear a mask

Visitors to Paris have been left confused by its new rules on masks.

As of Monday, the French capital has made face coverings compulsory outdoors in crowded tourist spots around the city, setting up more than 100 mask-wearing “zones”.

The list includes the path along the banks of the River Seine, the Place des Fetes square in the 19th arrondissement and much of the Montmartre district, but excludes the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees.

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The new rules are in place for one month initially, with fines of up to €135 dished out to those found breaking them.

However, although the Paris mayor’s office has said the zones and streets where the new rules apply will be sign-posted, many tourists have said the system is “unclear”.

“It’s not clear at all,” said Dominico Ditoma, a French tourist visiting Montmartre with his family, reports Jakarta Post.

“We’re tourists so we don’t know in which zones we’re required to wear a mask.

”We assume it’s for tourist spots but there are no signs so it’s quite unclear.“

Another female tourist added: “I’ve heard about it, it starts this morning, but I don’t know about the zones, I don’t know how to get informed.”

The official Paris website gives a full list of streets and zones in each arrondissement affected by the changes, along with a map, on which mask-wearing areas are highlighted in blue.

However, for tourists wandering around unfamiliar streets, it might be difficult to identify where they should be wearing masks if this isn’t clearly sign posted. Particularly as, in some cases, one half of the street requires a face covering while the other does not.

City hall official Audrey Pulvar said the map is “evolving” as the capital continues to identify areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

The move comes as France sees an uptick in confirmed coronavirus cases. Paris alone has been reporting 400 new cases a day, while the national average of cases per 100,000 people has shot up to 30.4.

The rise in Covid-19 infections has fuelled speculation that France could be removed from the UK government’s list of countries exempt from the blanket two-week quarantine imposed on nearly all inbound arrivals.

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