Monday September 21, 2020

Comment: Paris’s mask plan is worthy of the Surrealists

New city maps marking where masks must be worn outdoors demonstrates France’s confusing approach to Covid-19. As tougher and more complex rules pile up, there is a risk that the public’s trust will be eroded

13th August, 2020
Due to the increase of new cases of Covid-19 in Paris, it is now mandatory to wear a mask in front of the nose and mouth in some outdoor places. Picture: Getty

France’s experience of Covid-19 has been one of logistical public service highs and infantilising, bureaucratic lows.

Its springtime lockdown, one of the strictest in Europe, saved lives and protected overloaded hospitals, but also punished people for leaving home without the right authorisation form or for jogging at the wrong hour. The government fretted about panic-buying so much that even purchases of nicotine patches were restricted.

When Emmanuel Macron’s administration began loosening curbs in...

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