The new mask rule in Paris is part of a pattern that is spreading across the country – indeed across Europe – as governments try to stamp down the new virus embers.
It has been obvious for weeks that in some much-frequented parts of the capital, keeping the one-metre (3.2ft) rule is a challenge.
On the Seine quays for example, walkers, joggers and cyclists brush past revellers at the many riverside bars.
Masks are already obligatory in France in all enclosed public spaces – including inside tourist attractions like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.
And across the country, well over 1,000 towns and cities have prescribed face coverings in certain streets and neighbourhoods.
The main target of the rules are young people who gather to enjoy the holiday and the sunshine.
All the evidence shows that they are the group among whom infection is growing fastest.
They may be at a lower risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus than older people. It is their role as vectors that is a cause for concern.
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