Minister tells French public: don't wait to put on masks

FILE PHOTO: New French government faces MPs questions in Paris
FILE PHOTO: New French government faces MPs questions in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - French Health Minister Olivier Veran on Thursday encouraged people to start wearing masks in enclosed public spaces immediately, instead of waiting for a government order that takes effect next week.

"I invite the French people to start wearing the masks now," Veran told parliament. "We don't need to wait for a decree."

French officials have accelerated plans to make face coverings compulsory in shops and other enclosed public spaces in response to signs that the COVID-19 outbreak is flaring up again in some places.

(Reporting by Christian Lowe; Editing by Alison Williams)