The Council of State validates the obligation of the mask outdoors, but under certain conditions

The Council of State ruled on Tuesday January 11 in summary proceedings that wearing a protective mask against Covid-19 could only be imposed outside under certain conditions, but that the prefects could delimit large areas so that the rule is understandable. Seized by an individual, the summary judge rejected a request to suspend the decision by which Prime Minister Jean Castex instructed the prefects to implement the obligation to wear a mask outdoors. This obligation has been in force in many departments and agglomerations since the last days of December.

For the summary judge of the Council of State, these provisions “must be justified by the epidemiological situation observed in the territory concerned“. “They can only be proportionate if they are limited to places and times of high population circulation that do not allow physical distancing to be ensured and to places where people can congregate, such as markets, gatherings on public roads or shopping city centers, the hourly periods must be appropriate to the identified risks», Continues the high administrative court.

Adaptation to scientific research

However “the Prefect, when he determines, for these reasons, the places and times for the compulsory wearing of the mask in the open air, is entitled to delimit areas large enough for the rule to be understandable and its application consistent», Adds the judge in summary proceedings in his order. “The Prime Minister will have to take into account any changes in scientific knowledge to adapt his instructions to the prefects if necessary, or even to put an end to this obligation if the usefulness of wearing a mask is no longer established.“, Indicates the Council of State in a press release.

The pressure due to the fifth wave of Covid has further increased on the hospital, which has more than 25,000 patients, including nearly 4,000 in critical care, according to figures released Tuesday by Public Health France. The number of new confirmed cases stood at 368,149, a new record if we take into account only the statements communicated each evening. These data can be reviewed by the health authorities, who have thus established a posteriori that the milestone of 400,000 new cases (409,370) had been crossed on January 3.

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