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France to activate riot police to enforce mandatory mask wearing

The strict health-safety measure has resulted in some violent backlash from residents

A woman in France wearing a mask to prevent spread of coronavirus
(VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Updated: August 17, 2020 - 8:25am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The French government said Monday that it will deploy riot police to the Marseille region to help enforce mandatory mask wearing amid the coronavirus. 

The move comes as an increasing number of towns and neighborhoods impose mask rules this week to slow an increasing number of infections, according to the Associated Press.

A French government spokesman announced Monday that 130 police officers will be sent to the Marseille region, whose outdoor-mask requirements now includes all farmers’ markets and more neighborhoods.

The strict health-safety requirement amid a worldwide spike in virus infections has resulted in some incidents of violence by people refusing to wear masks. 

France on Sunday reported 3,015 new cases, one of the highest daily spikes since the country lifted a strict two-month lockdown in May. The country has reported over 30,400 virus-related deaths, one of the highest death tolls in the world.

Paris expanded its mask requirements Saturday, and other towns around France started requiring masks outdoors on Monday, the wire service also reports.

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