PARIS

A change in seasons has not deterred health officials from remaining vigilant in France, as the number of COVID-19 infections remains high nationwide.

France reported 3,304 more cases on Tuesday, raising its overall count to 248,158.

The death toll increased by 22 and stands at 30,513, while 4,600 patients remain in hospital, 410 of them in intensive care, according to the Health Ministry’s latest figures.

Most of France’s larger cities have now reinforced safety measures in place since the start of the pandemic, particularly the wearing of masks.

Marseille, a resort town in the south, is one of the first cities to make it mandatory for people to wear a mask in public at all times.

The measure applies to all people over the age of 11 and comes into effect at 11 p.m. (2100GMT) on Wednesday night.

Bars, cafes, restaurants, and food shops in Marseille will also have to close by 11 p.m. each night until 6:00 a.m. (0400GMT) the next morning.

The new laws, which will stay in place until Sept. 30, come as the incidence rate of coronavirus infections in the summertime tourist hub is five times above the national average.

According to Christophe Mirmand, the top government official for the Bouches-du-Rhone region in which Marseille lies, the challenge is to institute balanced measures.

“The situation is worsening, and therefore requires that preventive measures can be taken into account at the local level in order to be able to avoid a risk of wider spread of the virus,” he told local news channel France Info.

Currently, there are 292 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the Bouches-du-Rhone region.

Jerome Salomon, France’s director of health, also issued a statement calling for steadfast implementation of preventive measures despite progress in the battle against COVID-19.

“In mainland France, the dynamic of high-growth transmission remains worrying; all the indicators continue to progress while the number of tests carried out remains constant,” he said.

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