France makes masks compulsory in parts of northwestern Mayenne region

PARIS, July 16 (Reuters) - Authorities ordered people to start wearing face masks in parts of the northwestern French region of Mayenne on Thursday after a rise of coronavirus infections there.

The Mayenne prefecture said masks would be compulsory in its main city Laval as well as five other municipalities - Bonchamp-lès-Laval, Changé, L’Huisserie, Louverné and Saint-Berthevin.

“In Mayenne, the situation is problematic today”, French health minister Olivier Veran told France Inter radio.

The announcement came ahead of a nationwide order making masks compulsory in all enclosed public spaces across France from Aug. 1.

Up to now, France has required people to wear face coverings on public transport and in public spaces where social distancing is not possible, but has not mandated the wearing of masks in shops.

Reporting by Claude Chendjou; Writing by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Andrew Heavens