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Face masks mandatory for schools and public transport in France

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France will make face masks compulsory on public transport and in secondary schools when it starts easing its coronavirus lockdown on 11 May, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has said.

Schools will reopen gradually, starting with kindergartens and primary schools.

Pupils aged 11-15 will be expected to wear face masks.

It comes as hard-hit Spain also outlined its lockdown exit plan, aiming for what its prime minister called “a new normality” by the end of June.

Non-essential shops and markets will open their doors again from 11 May, but not bars and restaurants.

Stores will have the right to ask shoppers to wear masks, and should ensure they remain a metre (3ft) apart, the prime minister said.

In a relief to many, the French will be able to go outside again without a certificate confirming their intentions, and public gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed. Crèches will also reopen – but with a maximum of 10 children in each group.

France has suffered one of the highest Covid-19 death rates in Europe, along with the UK, Italy and Spain.

On Tuesday the number of people who have died with the virus rose by 367 to 23,660, the country’s health ministry said. Some 129,859 people have been infected.

Hospital admissions and the number of patients in intensive care have been falling, however, giving cause for cautious optimism.

Read more via France 24

 

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