The prefect of the neighbouring Alpes-Maritimes decided on Thursday, September 30, to extend the requirement that masks be worn outdoors and in all public places.

His ruling will last until October 18 and will require everyone over the age of 11 to wear masks throughout the Department.

Bernard Gonzalez said the mask rule is necessary as the infection rate in the area is still above the 50 per 100,000 benchmark. On September 29, the rate was 89.

While 47 French Departments will no longer require elementary schoolchildren to wear masks, the rule will continue, for the moment in the Alpes-Maritimes.

In France, young people from 12 years old are now required to wear masks and use a Health Pass, despite much lower rates of vaccination among the age group.

Overall, 74.9 percent of people in France have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 66.1 percent of the total population have had two shots. The percentage with two doses in the PACA region is higher than average, at 70.9 percent.

FILE PHOTO: Bernard Gonzalez