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France to Require Masks at Indoor Public Spaces by Aug. 1

Αssociated Press

France s President Emmanuel Macron, left, and France s Prime Minister Jean Castex, wear face mask, at the end of the Bastille Day military parade, Tuesday, July 14, 2020 in Paris. (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron says he wants to require masks inside all indoor public spaces by Aug. 1.

In an interview with French television networks marking Bastille Day, Macron says “the best prevention” for the virus are masks, social distancing and hand washing.

Macron says France’s virus reproduction rate is inching past 1 again, meaning each infected person is infecting at least one other.

Many other European nations required masks in indoor public space when they started easing virus lockdowns. France took a more relaxed attitude, recommending but not requiring masks.

Recent rave parties in France and widespread backsliding on social distancing -- even within Macron’s presidential palace and other government facilities -- have raised concerns.

France has confirmed more than 30,000 virus deaths.