France is experiencing a rapid growth in case numbers as the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hits.
In response to this, the Economy Ministry has updated the health protocol to be followed in markets.
Visitors to indoor and outdoor markets – including Christmas markets – must now wear a mask if they are over 11 years old. Mask wearing is strongly recommended (but not compulsory) for children over six.
As is standard with existing mask rules, these masks must have a filtration level of 90 percent or be of surgical quality. They must cover the nose, mouth and chin.
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The new protocol reiterated rules issued last last stating that visitors to all Christmas markets must carry a health pass. This does not apply to regular markets, both inside and outside.
It also states that market organisers must place hand gel at the entries of every market. Everyone over the age of 11 is obliged to wash their hands – a measure that is also recommended for anyone over the age of six.
The Ministry also recommend that markets organise themselves to ensure that foot traffic follows a singular route so as to avoid people crossing each other. They also recommend that an order service be established for market traders so that they can prepare goods for sale in advance to avoid shoppers milling around.
Earlier this week, the préfecture of Strasbourg raised the alarm over Covid rules not being respected at the eastern city’s Christmas market, warning that market stalls could be closed if the situation doesn’t improve.