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In the space of 24 hours, France recorded 3,300 new cases of coronavirus on its territory. Faced with the increase in cases, the obligation to wear the mask will be extended from Sunday in Marseille and in several large cities and tourist communities of Bouches-du-Rhône.

While France exceeded 3,000 daily contamination cases on Saturday, the wearing of the compulsory mask will be extended on Sunday within the department of Bouches-du-Rhône, classified Friday with Paris in “active areas of circulation” of the virus.

The country recorded 3,310 new contaminations with the new coronavirus in twenty-four hours, announced Saturday, August 15 the French Public Health Agency (SPF), which also notes a slight increase in hospitalizations.

According to the latest figures from SPF, the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 contamination now stands at 215,521.

SPF also points out that 17 new clusters were identified in 24 hours. The number of hospitalized patients rose to 4,857 on Saturday, including 376 in intensive care. That’s more than the last two days: they were 4,828 Friday and 4,864 Thursday.

The SPF agency indicates that, since the start of the epidemic, 30,409 people have died in France from the coronavirus.

Marseille and other cities now concerned

In front of the increase in the number of new contaminations, the obligation to wear the mask will be extended from Sunday in Marseille and in several large cities and tourist towns of Bouches-du-Rhône, a department where the circulation of Covid-19 is “active”, announced the prefect on Saturday.

Already compulsory since August 8 in certain districts of the second largest city in France, particularly around the Old Port, the wearing of a mask will be extended to all of the first seven districts of Marseille – the most central – (which has sixteen) , said Pierre Dartout during a press conference.

>> Read also: From unnecessary to mandatory, how the government has changed the discourse on the mask

Two types of municipalities are targeted by the decree: “the most important municipalities in the department which have an attractive and dense center”, such as Aix-en-Provence and Arles, but also the most touristic municipalities, which either on the shores of the Mediterranean, such as Cassis, La Ciotat, Carry-le-Rouet, or inland such as Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Baux-de-Provence.

Fourteen municipalities in all are concerned and, for each, “the perimeter has been delimited in agreement with the mayors”.

The obligation is also extended “to the exterior spaces of shopping centers such as Plan-de-Campagne”, a large shopping area near Marseille.

An increase in cases due in particular to tourism

As of Monday, police reinforcements are expected throughout the department and 703 control operations will be carried out, announced Denis Mauvais, chief of staff of the prefect of police, who added that “tickets have already been drawn up in Marseille” .

The department, like Paris, this week exceeded an “alert threshold” according to the deputy director of the Regional Health Agency, Sébastien Debeaumont. “It is clear that several ingredients continue to deteriorate indicators in the department, on the one hand the tourist dimension but also the fact that many inhabitants have decided to spend the holidays here”, affirmed Sébastien Debeaumont.

Like the Bouches-du-Rhône department, the city of Paris was classified on Friday as an “active circulation zone” for the coronavirus in order to allow the prefects to take more restrictive measures.

With AFP and Reuters

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