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France lifts requirement to wear a face mask outdoors in public and stops nighttime curfew early

France has lifted the requirement to wear a face mask outdoors in public and will stop its nighttime curfews earlier than planned.

The changes were announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex on Wednesday.

The face mask rule will be lifted on Thursday, while the nighttime curfew will end on Sunday, ten days earlier than planned.

“The 11 pm curfew, which as you know was to continue until 30 June, will cease to operate from this Sunday, ten days before the planned date,” Castex told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

“The very good results recorded no longer justify it,” he added.

Wearing a mask outdoors will no longer be compulsory “except in certain circumstances: when people gather together when they are in a crowded place, in a queue, on a market or in the stands of a stadium,” the French official said.

France is registering about 3,900 new daily virus “cases” on average, down from 35,000 in the March-April peak.

“We have not known such a low level of virus spreading since last August,” Castex said.

Over 58% of France’s adult population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

On Tuesday, the European Union nation opened its vaccination programs to 12 to 18-year-olds as part of a push to protect the nation as restrictions are gradually being lifted.

Terraces at restaurants and cafes, as well as cultural venues, reopened on May 19.

Last week, France reopened indoor spaces in restaurants and cafes as well as sports venues.