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French cities distribute free reusable masks to everyone

Local authorities are getting ready for the post-lockdown lifestyle

  • April 24, 2020 14:00
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
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Amidst a shortage of facial protection items and looking forward to a gradual easing of the lockdown measures, several French cities announced their willingness to provide all residents with free protective masks.

More than 2.2 million masks in Paris

On Monday 20 April Paris announced that it will be giving away 2.2 million masks to the locals, in order to cope with the health crisis caused by COVID-19. Among them, 1,5 million will be ready-to-wear, sewed by a local enterprise.

There will also be half a million kits to assemble, composed of a tissue, a template a manual. Several local companies will receive another 200,000 items for facial protection.

The distribution of the first 500,000 pieces will begin at the end of April and will first be delivered to the most vulnerable groups - seniors, people with chronic illnesses and pregnant women. The rest of the masks will be made available in the following weeks in the pharmacies.

The French capital is also willing to make it mandatory to wear a mask in public spaces or public transport to reduce the risk of contagion

Other cities

On Wednesday Lyon followed suit by announcing that the first purchases of facial protective gear were already made. This should soon make it possible for the city to provide all locals with free reusable masks, meeting the strictest standards and made in France.

Two days earlier the same announcement was made by Nice. Nice will be providing for free two masks to each person with principal residence on its territory, beyond 3 years of age. The municipality has provided an online subscription form, available 24/7 and a telephone communication channel (04 97 13 56 00, from 9 to 19). The distribution has already started.

Cannes for its part has gone even further by establishing a local network of tailors united for local production of masks called MMERCI. They distribute masks 100% made in Cannes, validated by the French Hospital Hygiene Society, meant for all citizens.

The list is far from exhaustive with many more cities declaring their readiness to purchase the masks at local companies and distributing them for free.

Towards exiting lockdown

Last week the French government presented some hints on its strategy to exit lockdown, which is to be unveiled in detail by the end of the month. With the gradual removal of social distancing measures looming on the horizon, it is only logical that local governments take the necessary protection in advance - with the added side benefit of stimulating the local sewing industry.



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