Coronavirus in Europe: France extends mask use as Greece says it is in second wave

Coronavirus in Europe: France extends mask use as Greece says it is in second wave

  • WHO says virus has shown no seasonal pattern and tells western Europe to react fast

Face masks have become compulsory in more than 100 Paris streets and tourist areas, Greece is “formally” in a second wave and new outbreaks are causing alarm in Italy and Spain as coronavirus infections continue to pick up again across Europe.

The Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control called on member states that are seeing an increase in cases to reinstate control measures, warning of a “true resurgence” in several countries and a “risk of further escalation” across the continent.

Dr Mike Ryan, the head of the World Health Organization’s emergencies programme, alo said the virus had shown no seasonal pattern and governments in western Europe needed to react fast to new flare-ups to prevent it bouncing back.

The Paris order applies to everyone aged 11 and over and covers places where physical distancing is difficult, including open-air markets, shopping streets and areas with large numbers of cafés and bars such as Rue Oberkampf and parts of the Marais.

The city’s busiest boulevards and the pedestrianised banks of the Seine and the Canal St Martin, which are popular evening and weekend gathering places, are also included, as is Montmartre with its warren of narrow streets. More open areas such as the zone around the Eiffel Tower and Champs Élysées are not included.

“The targets are basically places with a lot of people where it’s hard to keep more than a metre apart, and areas where people go to to relax, where distancing measures are being forgotten,” said Nicolas Nordman, a city hall safety official.