France drops face mask rule for transport from Monday

Face masks will no longer be required on public transport, including trains and planes, from Monday 16th May, the French health ministry has announced.

Health Minister Olivier Véran said on Wednesday that “wearing a mask remains recommended” on all public transport, however it will no longer be mandatory.

The move comes as France experiences a large drop in the number of new Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations, as well as a recommendation by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control that all EU countries lift the obligation to wear a mask on planes.

The health minister said that mask wearing and a health pass will remain mandatory in all health establishments until “at least this summer” because “we are not out of the epidemic, even if the situation is improving”.

People who test positive must still isolate for at least seven days.

Locally, hospitalisations have fallen in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region, where ICU occupancy is at 22%. In Monaco, just five patients are being treated for Covid at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre, three of whom are residents, and there are no patients in intensive care.

Covid circulation in Monaco has dropped steadily since reaching a peak of 1,050 at the end of March. The incidence rate is currently 393, the same figure as the Alpes Maritimes.

Photo by Lukas Souza on Unsplash