Paris plans to make free coronavirus testing available citywide as the French capital witnesses a resurgence in cases, authorities said.
According to Reuters, testing will be available in all 20 districts, and a set of mobile laboratories will travel around the city. As CBS News reported, Paris already has free walk-in testing centers in some heavily trafficked locations such as the “beach” on the banks of the River Seine, allowing sunbathers and bargoers to easily get tested.
France is one of several European nations that have witnessed a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, after lockdown restrictions were eased and the virus appeared to have been successfully stamped out. The rise has been blamed on summer vacations and large gatherings of young people, and so far it appears to have led to fewer hospitalizations and deaths than the first wave of infections.
Last week, France reported its highest coronavirus caseload in roughly four months. Although schools were scheduled to open Tuesday, education officials acknowledged over the weekend that not all would be able to safely do so. But compared with the earliest days of the pandemic, most European nations have ramped up their testing capacity and stocked up on personal protective equipment, ensuring that they are better prepared for another outbreak. Last week, Paris made masks mandatory citywide, following several other French municipalities.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said his goal is to avoid another nationwide lockdown, which could have disastrous effects on the economy.