French official advises against kissing due to COVID-19 fears

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French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent (1936 - 2008) greets his mother after the success of his new spring and summer collection for Dior, Paris, 29th January 1959. (Photo by Keystone /Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A French official has advised against a long-time French tradition — cheek kissing — over coronavirus fears.

“Reduction of physical social contact is recommended. This includes “la bise,” French health minister Olivier Véran told reporters on Saturday in Paris. 

Véran also said people should avoid handshakes as well.  

What is “la bise”? The tradition of planting an kiss on a person’s cheek multiple times, is a well-known French greeting. 

Canceled events: France has already banned gatherings of more than 5,000 people in a confirmed space. The Paris Half Marathon meant to happen Sunday was canceled as well as the Annecy Carnival that was scheduled for March 6-8.

Source: CNN News

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