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COVID-19

In France, outdoor mask requirements are seen by some as good for business

John Laurenson Sep 18, 2020
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A woman wearing a protective face mask walks on a street in the French city of Bordeaux, which has imposed stricter mask-wearing measures. Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

In France, outdoor mask requirements are seen by some as good for business

John Laurenson Sep 18, 2020
Heard on:
A woman wearing a protective face mask walks on a street in the French city of Bordeaux, which has imposed stricter mask-wearing measures. Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

In France, many cities and dozens of towns have made it compulsory to wear face masks not only in stores but outdoors – at least in busy areas, which some say is good for business.

One of the early communities to adopt the outdoor mask policy is the up-market seaside resort town of LeTouquet, on France’s North coast. In the main street, there are lots of designer stores. And this message can be heard in French and English over the loudspeakers: “Ladies and gentlemen, as part of the respect of current health instructions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we remind you that wearing a mask is now mandatory in the city center.”

Speaking in French, Le Touquet’s Deputy mayor Denis Caloin said the community is more attractive as a place to visit with compulsory masks, “because people feel safe.”

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s the outlook for vaccine supply?

Chief executives of America’s COVID-19 vaccine makers promised in congressional testimony to deliver the doses promised to the U.S. government by summer. The projections of confidence come after months of supply chain challenges and companies falling short of year-end projections for 2020. What changed? In part, drugmakers that normally compete are now actually helping one another. This has helped solve several supply chain issues, but not all of them.

How has the pandemic changed scientific research?

Over the past year, while some scientists turned their attention to COVID-19 and creating vaccines to fight it, most others had to pause their research — and re-imagine how to do it. Social distancing, limited lab capacity — “It’s less fun, I have to say. Like, for me the big part of the science is discussing the science with other people, getting excited about projects,” said Isabella Rauch, an immunologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Funding is also a big question for many.

What happened to all of the hazard pay essential workers were getting at the beginning of the pandemic?

Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, essential workers were hailed as heroes. Back then, many companies gave hazard pay, an extra $2 or so per hour, for coming in to work. That quietly went away for most of them last summer. Without federal action, it’s mostly been up to local governments to create programs and mandates. They’ve helped compensate front-line workers, but they haven’t been perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re piecemeal,” said Molly Kinder at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You’re seeing these innovative pop-ups because we have failed overall to do something systematically.”

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