Wearing masks in indoor public spaces in France will be mandatory from next week, French Prime Minister Jean Castex told the country's Senate on Thursday.
The government was considering implementing the new rule on August 1, but Castex said he had "heard and understood that this deadline seemed too late," reports the CNN.
The PM added that wearing masks was an "efficient protective measure" against coronavirus.
The government has joined other European nations in changing its stance on wearing protective masks.
In March, the government said that "wearing a mask [was] not recommended for people without symptoms." But by May, Director for National Health Agency Jérôme Salomon said officials were "adapting our position."
"We are re-evaluating our knowledge," Salomon said at the time.
Encouraging the public to wear masks has since become part of the government's coronavirus strategy. Wearing masks is already mandatory for people using public transport in France.