French cities tighten virus measures as cases rise Jul 31, 2020 0 1278 12345 AFPLille, FranceSeveral French cities on Thursday announced new face mask requirements and other measures to contain the coronavirus as the number of new cases continues to increase after a long lull, officials said.The government, anxious to avoid a new outbreak but wary of clamping down too hard during the summer holidays, has stepped up guidance on social distancing as officials report new contagion “clusters” daily.Face masks are already required in all enclosed public spaces nationwide, including public transport, and in recent days cities have cracked down on mass gatherings of young people in particular.In the Nord department adjacent to Belgium, the government’s top official said “reinforced measures” would be announced Friday, possibly making masks compulsory outdoors, in response to a surge in cases across the border.The mayor of Saint-Malo, whose walled city has drawn tens of thousands of French tourists who opted to stay in the country for the summer holidays, said masks were now mandatory inside the old city and on the ramparts for everyone aged 11 and over.“Masks are essential protection for limiting the virus’s spread,” Mayor Gilles Lurton said, after health authorities said the Ille-et-Vilaine region had 44 new cases on Wednesday alone.Starting Friday, masks will be required in open-air markets in Orleans, central France, and after 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) along the Loire river, where crowds of people have been turning out nightly. RELATED ARTICLES Coronavirus deaths top 150,000 in worst-hit US Jul 31, 2020 0 3162 NASA’s Perseverance rover bound for Mars to seek ancient life Jul 31, 2020 0 1610 (Stand-alone) Jul 31, 2020 0 1288 Coronavirus numbers improve slightly in Spain’s hotspots MADRID: The number of daily new coronavirus infections has slightly declined in Spain’s hardest-hit regions, authorities said on Thursday. Especially in the Catalan regions Lleida and Barcelona, which recently .. Scottish schools set for full return in mid-August LONDON: Children in Scotland can return to schools full-time in the middle of next month, the devolved government said on Thursday as it eases coronavirus lockdown measures. It will be the first time since March that .. UK extends coronavirus self-isolation period from 7 to 10 days LONDON: Britain on Thursday extended the period of coronavirus self-isolation from seven to 10 days, as fears grew over a surge in cases. The UK’s chief medical officers said scientific evidence now showed that people .. WHO says it overestimated ability of wealthy countries to fight COVID-19 DPA Geneva The health systems of wealthy countries performed more poorly than expected during the early phase of the COVID-19 crisis, WHO emergency operations chief Mike Ryan said on Thursday in Geneva. It was .. Hong Kong row has ‘poisoned’ ties with UK: China’s ambassador AFP London Britain’s “interventions” in Hong Kong have “seriously poisoned the atmosphere” of relations with China, Beijing’s ambassador in London warned on Thursday. Liu Xiaoming also accused Western powers and .. Prominent Hong Kong democracy activists barred from election HONG KONG: A dozen Hong Kong democracy activists were disqualified on Thursday from standing in September’s legislative elections, a move decried by candidates as the most pressing assault yet on Beijing’s critics in .. Trump suggests delay in presidential election over coronavirus fears AFP Washington US President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested delaying the 2020 election, in which he is currently lagging badly in the polls, citing the coronavirus and what he said would be “fraudulent” voting. ..