Burkinis have been barred on the beach in Cannes, in a move the local mayor says is aimed at preventing public disorder.
The ban on full-body, head-covering swimsuits will run in the French Riviera resort until the end of August and police can fine those flouting the rules.
The restriction is being slammed as discriminatory.
“The decree is not the provocation, it’s those who wear this kind of outfit. They are like uniforms,” said David Lisnard, Cannes’ Mayor.
“I think that several people, maybe they wear it in good faith, so we have to explain to them. There are just a few provocative people.”
But while officials say the move is in the interests of security, others say it will worsen religious tensions.
“It’s ridiculous because I see naked people and I don’t understand why I can’t be dressed. We do what we want. In schools, I can respect secularism. But on beaches, it’s ridiculous,” said one woman.
The ban – at the height of the summer season – comes after the deadly truck attack in nearby Nice.
“I don’t think wearing a burkini is illegal. Everyone has the right to go to the beach, because it’s a public area,” commented a beach-goer.
“But at the same time, if we think about womens rights, if we accept more and more things like this, it’s like a regression for women.”
In which France continues to ostracize its Muslim population, and then wonders why said population feels disaffected https://t.co/H39Ynu2xR5— Ashley Reese (@offbeatorbit) 12 August 2016
Under French laws, face-covering veils are already banned in public. Head scarves are also forbidden in public schools.