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Paris mandates masks in busy outdoor areas as coronavirus cases rise

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Concerns rising in Europe over new spike in cases' Coronavirus: Concerns rising in Europe over new spike in cases
WATCH: Coronavirus: Concerns rising in Europe over new spike in cases

Parisians and holidaymakers strolling along the banks of the River Seine or browsing open-air markets in Paris must wear a face mask from Monday after authorities imposed new measures to curb a rise in coronavirus infections.

The order, which applies to people aged 11 and over, covers busy outdoor areas in the French capital, although tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees boulevard were not listed.

Data showed the virus had begun circulating more widely in Paris and its lower-income suburbs since mid-July.

Read more: Disneyland Paris, Eiffel Tower partially reopen to the public

The rate of positive tests in the greater Paris region now stood at 2.4 per cent compared with a national average of 1.6 per cent, it said.

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After tough lockdown measures slowed infection rates, many European countries are now watching new clusters flare up after easing restrictions to try to limit the economic damage and alleviate public frustration.

France has made it compulsory to wear a face mask in closed public spaces such as shops and banks since July 21, and Paris joins a growing list of cities ordering people to wear masks in busy zones outdoors, including Toulouse, Lille and Biarritz.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Disneyland Paris reopens after 4-month closure amid pandemic' Coronavirus: Disneyland Paris reopens after 4-month closure amid pandemic
Coronavirus: Disneyland Paris reopens after 4-month closure amid pandemic

Those breaching the order face a fine of 135 euros. The penalty rises to six months in prison for anyone violating it more than three times in the space of a month. The Paris order will last a month.

The number of people in France infected with coronavirus rose by 2,288 on Friday, a new post-lockdown high.

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(Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Christina Fincher)