Ian Brodie with Reuters – France will gradually ramp up police checks to ensure people wear face masks where it is mandatory and respect social distancing amidst a new surge of COVID-19 infections, the government’s spokesman said on Wednesday.

“We’re at a tipping point (…) We’re going to mobilize police forces to make checks,” BFM TV showed Gabriel Attal telling journalists while visiting the Mediterranean island of Corsica.

“But it’s not the police people should be afraid of (…) they should fear the virus, that lurks and contaminates,” he said. Police fines will be an on the spot 135 euros, the same amount levied for breaches of breakdown.

Jean Castex, the Prime Minister, has repeatedly said that there will be no further nationwide lockdown.

Figures from the PACA region in the early part of this week show an increase in coronavirus infections and more hospital admissions, although to date more cases have not translated into more deaths. This may be due to the fact that more younger people are contracting the virus, according to many epidemiologists.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that this year’s Paris marathon has been cancelled, the organisers said on Wednesday, as France battles against a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus. The event was due to take place on November 15.

“The Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris 2020 is cancelled. See you in 2021,” wrote the marathon’s organisers on Twitter.

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask walks by a testing site for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in downtown Nice, France August 11, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard