AIn view of the increasing number of Corona infections, Amsterdam and Rotterdam are the first Dutch cities to introduce a mask requirement. This applies to particularly busy squares, streets and shops, the cities announced on Thursday. The mask requirement is to apply to all persons over the age of 13 from August 5.

In Amsterdam, for example, the red light district, the main shopping street Kalverstraat and popular markets can no longer be visited without a mask. The authorities emphasized that the obligation did not replace the rule of maintaining a safety distance of 1.5 meters. Amsterdam had already taken strict measures for the red light district and the inner city area. So tourists were asked not to visit the city on weekends. The safety distance can often not be maintained, especially due to the influx of tourists.

The Dutch government has so far rejected a general obligation to wear a mask, but it does allow regional bids. So far, a face mask has only had to be worn in public transport in the Netherlands – this also includes ferries.

Stricter mask requirements also in parts of France

In France, too, several cities are tightening their corona requirements due to the sharp increase in cases of infection. The authorities announced stricter restrictions for Friday in the northern department bordering Belgium. A mask requirement is also expected to be introduced outdoors. The French government had recently imposed a nationwide mask requirement for all public spaces.

Corona requirements have also been tightened in the port city of Saint-Malo in Brittany, which attracted tens of thousands of domestic tourists this summer. According to the city administration, everyone over the age of eleven must now wear mouth-to-nose protection in the old town and on the city walls. In Orléans, central France, mouths and noses must also be covered in open-air markets from Friday. In addition, a mask requirement applies in the evening from 9 p.m. on the banks of the Loire. Numerous people had been bustling around there over the past few weeks.

In the city centers of the southern French cities of Bayonne and Biarritz, mouth-to-nose protection will also be mandatory from next week, according to the authorities. Biarritz will also close its beaches at night to prevent beach parties.

As in other European countries, the number of new infections in France is currently increasing rapidly. The number of new infections detected rose by 1377 within 24 hours on Thursday. The seven-day average is over 1,000 for the first time in the first half of May. France then relaxed the restrictions. Overall, the number of infections increases to 186,573, according to the health authorities. In addition, the intensive care units are filling again for the first time in 16 weeks; a total of 381 people had to be treated there. 30,254 people died after a corona infection, 16 more than the previous day.