Jean Castex's statements were made in the city of Lille (northern France), where the use of masks in some “open public places” has become mandatory, as in other parts of the country.
"The virus is not on vacation and neither are we", underlined the prime minister, defending the need for "protection against the virus without having to interrupt economic and social activities", that is, "avoiding the prospect of generalized reconfiguration" .
In some French regions, “there is an increase in the numbers of the epidemic”, so it is necessary to be “more attentive than ever”, insisted Jean Castex.
The Prime Minister praised the 14.000 tests already carried out in the city of Lille, which is facing a resurgence in covid-19 cases.
"I ask every Frenchman to remain very vigilant, because the fight against the virus depends, of course, on the State, on local communities, on institutions, but also on each one of us," added Castex.
The speech of the French authorities has evolved over the weeks (and the evolution of scientific knowledge), from affirmations about the uselessness of the obligation to wear a mask to its imposition in all public places closed from July 20, and now also in some public areas, such as seaside resorts along the Atlantic coast, picturesque walks on the Loire river or markets in the Alps.
The rules for wearing masks outdoors came into force today and tighten the rules adopted last month, which required the use of masks in all stores and closed public places.
As of today, 69 communes in the Mayenne region of western France have imposed the use of outdoor masks, as well as parts of the city of Lille in the north and the coastal city of Biarritz in the French Basque country.
France registered 7.000 new cases of covid-19 in the past week, after having managed to control the virus almost completely with the national confinement of two months, accounting for 30.265 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 685 deaths and infected more than 18 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.
After Europe succeeded China as the center of the pandemic in February, the American continent is now the one with the most confirmed cases and the most deaths.