New French PM Says Masks Mandatory Next Week

French President Emmanuel Macron and French Prime Minister Jean Castex both wear a protective face mask at the end of the annual Bastille Day military ceremony on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, Tuesday. (Ludovic Marin/Pool via Reuters)

New French Prime Minister Jean Castex says masks will be mandatory in closed public places as of next week, sooner than Aug. 1 as announced earlier by President Emmanuel Macron.

The change in date comes as the Mayenne area of the Loire region has seen several COVID-19 outbreaks, and authorities have recorded a marginal increase in infections in the Paris region.

Calling the situation in Mayenne “problematic,” French Health Minister Olivier Veran said he asked the prefect of Mayenne personally to make masks compulsory in closed public places without waiting for the later date.