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Mayor Bernard Gérard of Marcq-en-Baroeul, a town on the outskirts of the city Lille, signed an order on April 2 after receiving complaints of people spitting in public, sneezing without covering their faces and leaving used gloves and masks in public streets, French daily Le Parisian reported.
Those who violate the measures will be fined 68 euros ($74), according to the order. The fine will jump to 180 euros ($197) if payment is received late.
Gérard called it “intolerable” to leave the cleanup of such potentially contaminated personal protection equipment to others. He asked for “respect for those who work and clean the streets on a daily basis.”
Mayors of towns and cities in parts of France have begun to mandate citizens to wear face masks in public. The decision comes after the French government, like many others around the world, had said only those showing signs of infection and medical workers should wear masks.
The mayor of the southern city of Nice, Christian Estrosi, announced Monday that masks citizens can reuse for up to a month will be distributed to everyone in eight to 10 days, daily Nice-Matin reported.
The mayors of Cannes, Sceaux, and Mandelieu-la-Napoule came to similar decisions on Tuesday, according to Local France. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said her city could follow suit.
"Everyone should have some kind of protection, and some kind of scarf or mask is better than nothing," Hidalgo said.
The new rules come as France’s some 65 million citizens entered its fourth week under lockdown.
Virus-related fatalities and infections have continued to soar, with the country seeing on Monday its deadliest 24-hour period since the outbreak began. The record 833 new deaths brought the death toll to 8,911, with the number of confirmed cases rising to 98,984.
France’s health minister, Olivier Veran, warned that the pandemic has not yet reached its peak.
"It is not over. Far from that,” Veran told reporters Monday evening. “The path is long. The figures that I have announced show this. Stay at home and continue this confinement effort.”