The French government is now recommending that people wear surgical masks in public because they offer better protection from COVID-19 transmission than fabric face coverings, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday.
France already requires masks to be worn in public places, but until now has not made recommendations about the type of masks. French authorities are worried they could be hit by new, more contagious variants of the virus.
“The recommendation that I make to the French people is to no longer use fabric masks,” Veran told French broadcaster TF1.
Veran also said it was very unlikely that restrictions on ski resorts — a hotspot for the virus at the start of the pandemic — would be lifted next month.
That effectively rules out a return to skiing in time for the February school holidays, normally the last peak skiing period of the season.
Veran said that the government could not rule out a tightening of coronavirus restrictions if the situation with virus transmission deteriorates.
“We could be forced to take tougher measures than those that the French people dealt with this autumn… That could go as far as a lockdown if the situation were to require it,” he said.
France has reported over 71,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began. It is now at 35% of its peak infection rate, according to Reuters data, well below its neighbour, Britain, which is at 70%. French schools are still open, and non-essential shops are allowed to trade.
However, French public health officials say they have detected a rise in transmission rates in the past few days and they are also wary of the spread of new, more contagious variants of COVID-19 which are prevalent in other countries.
- One feared dead, several others injured after accident at Legon underpass
- Citi FM journalist, Caleb Kudah allegedly picked up by National Security operatives
- Leadership crisis at Ghana Rugby: Chairman Herbert Mensah suspended indefinitely, set to be removed from office on June 8
- Former British High Commissioner to Ghana, Craig Murray jailed for contempt in the UK
- Fire guts new Kejetia Market
- Ghana drops to 95th in 2021 World Happiness ranking
- NSMQ 2021: Tamasco and 3 others secure tickets to Accra on day one of Northern Regional qualifiers
- Dr Mavis Owureku Asare: Wesley Girls’ no fast policy is not about religion
- Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’, ‘No Longer at Ease’ and ‘Arrow of God’ are being adapted for television
- Our scholars in Cuba are broke because they insist on table-top payment – GNPC Foundation
Ghana to host African Swimming and Open Water championships
Chief breaks ground for multipurpose Nkawkaw Palace
Double whammy for Ghana in Old Mutual Amazing Voices
Mental disorder after childbirth is real – Victim recounts
Transgender Cameroonians jailed for 5 years
Dr Prince Hamid Armah: Exploring Akufo-Addo’s commitment to education; Policy, spending, and outcomes
Politicisation of security agencies cause of insecurity in the country- Sam George
Museveni takes oath for 6th term
Ghana has not done enough to get girls out of the streets – Development consultant
China’s population grows to 1.41 billion people
Uganda deploys troops ahead of Museveni inauguration
Banks cannot be blamed for not accepting new Voter ID cards – Association of Bankers
9-year-old boy dies after being ‘struck by lightning’ on football field
Citi FM journalist, Caleb Kudah released from National Security custody
Don’t shake your car when fueling – Transport Consultant