Cities distribute masks as public ignore lockdown

by Steve Martindale

The French government has received criticism for discussing how the lockdown might be lifted after increasing numbers of people have been ignoring the quarantine rules. After proposing on Friday 3rd April that the lockdown might eventually be phased out in stages – geographically and by risk group – the weekend saw larger numbers of people taking to the streets across the country in the belief that the worst could be over.

On Monday, however, France recorded its record number of deaths since the outbreak began, with 833 people succumbing to the virus on 6th April.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said there had been an “unacceptable relaxation” of the isolation rules over the weekend in his city and announced that all residents would receive a reusable mask within ten days. A similar announcement was made by the mayors of Cannes and Mandelieu-la-Napoule, with the latter saying manufacture of masks was his city’s “absolute priority”.

Meanwhile, police in Paris have said they will ban outdoor exercise between 10 am and 7 pm from Wednesday 8th April, with authorities suspecting that some people are claiming to be taking their daily exercise, but in fact are just getting out of their homes.

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