The French government will “extend as much as possible the obligation to wear a mask in public spaces” because the situation of coronavirus epidemic is going in a bad direction, Prime Minister said on Tuesday.

“I am going to ask the prefects to get closer to local elected officials to extend as much as possible the obligation to wear a mask in public spaces,” said Castex during a trip to Montpellier in the south of the country.

“If we do not react collectively, we expose ourselves to a high risk of epidemic resumption,” he warned.

The head of the French government also announced that the ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people will be extended to Oct. 30 and testing will be improved.

On Monday, cases of the novel coronavirus infection in France rose to 202,775, with 4,854 new infections confirmed over the last three days.

The fresh rise in confirmed cases was also reflected in a renewed spike in admission to health establishments and intensive care units.

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