Paris reintroduces rules for masks in crowded outdoor areas

After a previous mask rule for all outdoor areas was judged 'excessive' and suspended by the courts, local authorities in Paris have produced a new decree mandating masks in crowded outdoor areas.

Masked Paris police officers patrol on horseback.
Masked Paris police officers patrol on horseback. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP

The Paris police chief had previously ordered that masks be worn at all times in all public outdoor areas – including the streets. 

This rule had been in place since December 31st and had been copied by authorities in many of Paris’ suburbs.

However, last week a court judged the order “excessive” and suspended it.

On Monday, Paris police chief Didier Lallement published a new orders which requires masks in certain types of outdoor area.

The specified areas where masks will be compulsory – all areas that are judged likely to be crowded – are;

  • Outdoor markets and sales
  • In all gatherings, demonstrations, marches, meetings or organised activity of more than 10 people held in a public space (including in street)
  • In waiting areas for public transport such as at bus stops and in queues [masks are already compulsory when on all types of public transport in France]
  • In entryways and public plazas of shopping centres during their hours of opening [masks are already compulsory inside shopping centres]
  • In entryways and public plazas of school, university establishments or places of worship [masks are already compulsory inside]
  • In any queues in public outdoor areas

The announcement added that the new rules would be mirrored by similar requirements in the Paris suburbs, as they have been in consultation with local authorities outside the city boundaries. 

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Paris street art legend Miss.Tic dies aged 66

Miss.Tic, whose provocative work began cropping up in the Montmartre neighbourhood of Paris in the mid-80s and made her a pioneer of French street art, died on Sunday aged 66, her family told AFP.

Paris street art legend Miss.Tic dies aged 66

Radhia Novat grew up in the narrow streets in the shadow of Sacre-Coeur basilica, the daughter of a Tunisian father and a mother from Normandy in western France, where she began stencilling sly and emancipatory slogans.

Her family said she had died of an unspecified illness.

Other French street artists paid tribute to her work.

On Twitter, street artist Christian Guemy, alias C215, hailed “one of the founders of stencil art”. The walls of the 13th arrondissement of Paris – where her images are a common sight – “will never be the same again”, he wrote.

Another colleague, “Jef Aerosol” said she had fought her final illness with courage, in a tribute posted on Instagram.

And France’s newly appointed Culture Minister, Rima Abdul Malak, saluted her “iconic, resolutely feminist” work.

Miss.Tic’s work often included clever wordplays — almost always lost in translation — and a heroine with flowing black hair who resembled the artist herself. The images became fixtures on walls across the capital.

Miss. Tic with some examples of her work. Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP

“I had a background in street theatre, and I liked this idea of street art,” Miss.Tic said in a 2011 interview.

“At first I thought, ‘I’m going to write poems’. And then, ‘we need images’ with these poems. I started with self-portraits and then turned towards other women,” she said.

Miss.Tic also drew the attention of law enforcement over complaints of defacing public property, leading to an arrest in 1997.

But her works came to be shown in galleries in France and abroad, with some acquired by the Paris modern art fund of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, according to her website.

And cinema buffs will recognise her work on the poster for Claude Chabrol’s 2007 film “La fille coupee en deux” (“A Girl Cut in Two”).

For a spell she was a favourite of fashion brands such as Kenzo and Louis Vuitton.

“So often it’s not understood that you can be young and beautiful and have things to say,” she told AFP in 2011.

“But it’s true that they sell us what they want with beautiful women. So I thought, I’m going to use these women to sell them poetry.”

Her funeral, the date of which is still to be announced, will be open to the public, said her family.