France will stop the compulsory wearing of the COVID-19 mask in certain primary schools

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French President Emmanuel Macron chats with students during a visit to Bouge primary school in the Malpasse district of Marseille, France, September 2, 2021 as millions of children in France return to school on Thursday for the new school year, wearing face masks as part of rules to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Daniel Cole / Pool via REUTERS

PARIS, September 30 (Reuters) – Students will no longer have to wear protective masks from October 4 in French primary schools in areas with low COVID-19 infection rates, according to a government decree published on Thursday.

Paris and its inner suburbs are not part of the 47 metropolitan departments, or administrative districts, where the compulsory wearing of the mask will be removed, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

This decision follows an improvement in the COVID-19 situation in France since the government accelerated its vaccination campaign.

Areas where masks will cease to be mandatory in primary schools must have fewer than 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 citizens for five consecutive days.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday that France was considering extending the state of emergency until next summer to deal with the outbreak. Read more

Reporting by Matthieu Protard, Editing by Timothy Heritage

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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