Mandatory masks in Paris: the measure ultimately does not apply to cyclists and runners

Published by Caroline J. · Published on 28 August 2020 at 09h22 · Updated on 28 August 2020 at 12h38
Facemasks are mandatory in Paris starting Friday August 28, 2020 at 8 a.m. But does the measure also apply to cyclists and runners? After announcing that everybody was to yield to this obligation, excluding “users riding inside motor vehicles”, the police prefecture back-pedaled saying that ultimately cyclists and runners do not have to wear a mask to move around Paris and the inner suburbs of Paris.

Protective facemasks have been set mandatory in highly crowded places in Paris. A measure that becomes even more restrictive… Therefore, starting Friday August 28, 2020 at 8 a.m., facemasks are mandatory everywhere in Paris and the inner suburbs of Paris, naming Seine-Saint-Denis, Hauts-de-Seine and Val-de-Marne.

But then, is the measure also applying to cyclists and runners? On August 27, the Préfecture de police announced that “all pedestrians driving in public places, people using bicycles, bikes, scooters and other personal transporters, motorized or not” are not concerned by this new measure. Yet, the prefecture says that “users riding inside motor vehicles (private cars, small trucks or commercial heavy goods vehicles) will exempted of this obligation”.

A decision Paris city hall found “absurd”.  Invited on August 28 on Europe 1, Paris first deputy mayor Emmanuel Grégoire said “decisions must be based on a minimum of scientist arguments, and on a consistent element of comprehension. And no, this is not coherent to impose a mask to a moving cyclist because no scientific study shows there is a potential risk” he said, before adding he could “extend [his] comment to runners”.

Thus, Paris city hall has started talks with the prefecture in order to have it back-pedal on the issue of mandatory facemask for cyclists and runners. Talks that seem to have been successful since Paris police prefecture has ultimately announced that cyclists and runners will be allowed to move around mask-free in Paris and the inner suburbs of Paris.

For the record, Paris has been listed “red area” like 20 other French departments, and this is not the first city to impose facemasks everywhere. Therefore, Boulogne-Billancourt and Sceaux, in Hauts-de-Seine, have made facemasks mandatory everywhere, and so did Marseille in Bouches-du-Rhône.

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