Masks soon no longer required on French transport

Facemasks will no longer have to be worn on metros, buses, trains, planes, and cars, though wearing them remains “recommended”, Health Minister Olivier Véran said at the end of the Council of Ministers Wednesday (11 May) where he announced the measure will be lifted. [Shutterstock/Pfeiffer]

Facemasks will no longer need to be worn on public transport in France from Monday, meaning the country is getting closer to dropping all COVID-19 restrictions.

Facemasks will no longer have to be worn on metros, buses, trains, planes, and cars, though wearing them remains “recommended”, Health Minister Olivier Véran said at the end of the Council of Ministers Wednesday (11 May) where he announced the measure will be lifted.

The decision comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalisation rates are steadily decreasing as France recorded 40,299 new daily cases on Wednesday – a 15.9% drop compared to seven days earlier. The “situation is improving”, said Véran, who added that “the pandemic is not over”.

“The pandemic is clearly not over, even if we can hope that, given the levels of immunity in the population (…), we can move on to a more transitional phase,” Sylvie van der Werf, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute, warned a press briefing organised by ANRS, France’s AIDS and viral hepatitis research agency, AFP reports.

France’s decision is in line with the recommendation made by the EU’s Aviation Safety Agency, calling on member states to lift mask-wearing obligations in airports and onboard aircraft.

Meanwhile, France continues to enforce the health pass requirements to access health facilities.

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