French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he preferred to make face masks mandatory in public interiors to curb the coronavirus pandemic, and warned that there are signs that infections are on the rise in France.
"I want masks to be mandatory in all closed public spaces," he said in a television interview, saying that such a measure could take effect on August 1.
In response to concerns that infections will increase in France again, he added: "We have evidence that the outbreak is accelerating somewhat."
In particular, he said that the virus reproduction rate, the "R" ratio, has risen above one in France, which means that a single person infected with COVID-19 is likely to spread the disease to others.
Masks are already required on public transport throughout France, "but it is a little stained in closed public spaces," Macron admitted.
Prominent doctors urged the government this week to ask for masks to prevent a second wave of cases that could overwhelm hospitals.
The mayor of Saint-Ouen, a suburb north of Paris, ordered masks on Monday after several cases of corona viruses were discovered in a school.
When asked if France had enough face masks in the event of a new lace, Macron said: "We will be ready."
"We have secured both inventory and supply and are organized on-site to cope with a possible upswing," he said in a rare television interview on Bastille Day's National Day.
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