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Coronavirus latest: Spanish region makes wearing a mask mandatory

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Customers wearing face masks pick second hand fabrics in a market in Barcelona on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.
Customers wearing face masks pick second hand fabrics in a market in Barcelona on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.   -   Copyright  Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo
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A Spanish region has made wearing a mask mandatory amid an increase in coronavirus cases.

Officials in Catalonia announced on Wednesday that wearing a mask would be mandatory for people over the age of six in public spaces, outdoors and indoors regardless of whether physical distancing can be maintained.

From Thursday, people who do not wear a mask will be fined €100, Spanish media reported.

The move comes following a new lockdown in Segrià, a county in the west of the region with more than 200,000 people.

"The priority is to control the epidemic everywhere, but very specifically in Segrià, is: to cut the transmission chains and protect the most vulnerable people," said the regional health minister Alba Vergés.

Spain has recorded more than 252,500 cases of coronavirus and more than 28,300 deaths. Spain has 67 active outbreaks throughout the country.

France prepares for a second wave

We must prepare "for a second wave", which is possible "this fall or this winter," said France's director general of Health, Jérôme Salomon, in a written interview with the Figaro Wednesday.

"We do not know everything about the seasonal behaviour of this virus which is still circulating," said Salomon in the paper, emphasising that all professionals in the field are "mobilised to manage the current clusters" in the country.

France exited lockdown on May 11 but did not open restaurants and bars until early June. The country has 68 active clusters of coronavirus but has seen hospitalisations decrease significantly.

US passes three million coronavirus cases

The US has more than three million confirmed cases of coronavirus, more than a quarter of the world's total.

Despite this, the Trump administration is moving forward with reopening schools, threatening to cut federal aid if school districts do not reopen.

US President Donald Trump also said that he disagreed with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: "on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools."

Many states in the US are seeing rising cases and hospitalisations as the country continues recording record increases in cases.

More than 134,000 people have died in the US due to COVID-19 since the beginning of the epidemic.