France deploys riot police to enforce mask rules as daily infections top 3,000 with highest figures since lockdown

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RIOT police have been sent to the Marseille region to enforce mask rules and help stem a worrying spike in coronavirus cases.

The French government has deployed 130 gun-toting cops to the port city and the surrounding area in a tough new clampdown.

Gun-toting riot cops talk to residents wearing a mask in Marseille, southern France

The move comes after the region expanded its outdoor mask reguations to include all farmers’ markets and more towns and suburbs. 

France has seen scattered incidents of violence by people refusing to wear masks since the crackdown was announced.

Paris expanded its mask requirements Saturday, and other towns around France started requiring masks outdoors on Monday.

Infections have been rising across the country in recent days, with more than 3,000 new cases reported on Sunday.

It was one of the highest daily spikes since the hard-hit country lifted a strict two-month lockdown in May.

AP:Associated Press

More than 130 hardline police officers have been deployed in the port city and surrounding area[/caption]

Rex Features

A sign urging locals to wear a mask at the Old Port area in Marseille[/caption]

More than 30,400 people have already died from coronavirus in France, one of the highest death tolls in the world.

The UK introduced a mandatory quarantine for anyone returning from France on August 15 sparking travel chaos as hundreds of thousands of Brits tried to get back before it was in place.

French cops have also been working to stop a spate of secret raves which have attracted mobs of maskless youngsters.

In the largest, 10,000 people spent the weekend at an illegal gathering in the Cévennes mountains in the south of the Massif Central range.

And several open-air parties attended by hundreds of people each were staged in fields and national parks on the edge of the Paris area at the weekend.

Last week it was revealed only Paris and Marseilles have major outbreaks while most of the country remains largely unaffected.

Rex Features

Trams and buses also face restrictions across France[/caption]

Friday's Ligue 1 tie between Marseille and Saint-Etienne has been postponed
Friday’s Ligue 1 tie between Marseille and Saint-Etienne was also postponed

They have both been declared Covid-19 red zones – giving authorities extra power to impose stricter control measures.

Local councils can now shut down bars and restaurants, close roads to traffic, and restrict access to buses and trams when needed.

At the weekend, three new cases of suspected coronavirus were revealed by French football giants Marseille.

Dozens of Ligue 1 players from multiple clubs have tested positive for Covid-19 in recent weeks.

 

France today announced it is to make face masks compulsory in most workplaces.

The new rule is likely to apply to all shared spaces in offices and factories where there is more than one employee present.

The measure is set to begin on 1 September. Individual offices will be exempt.

Until now, the government has only advised the wearing of masks at work when social distancing is not possible.


The police were out in force over the weekend issuing €135 on-the-spot fines to people failing to wear masks in dozens of cities and towns.

These include Paris where mask zones were greatly extended on Saturday to cover much of the centre of the capital.

The areas around the Louvre and the ChampsÉlysées are now included in the system, which has been slammed for being too complicated.

 

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