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August 20, 2020, 11.36 PM

"All indicators continue to climb and transmission of the virus is intensifying," the DGS said in a statement.

Toulouse on Wednesday became the first French city to declare face masks compulsory outdoors.

Masks are already mandatory on public transport in France and indoors in public places, amid fears that a mass movement of people as the summer break draws to a close will lead to a spike in infections.

On Wednesday, Spain recorded 6,700 new infections in 24 hours, bringing the total to more than 370,000, the highest caseload in western Europe.

Ukraine on Thursday also reported a record daily increase in coronavirus cases, exceeding 2,000 new infections for the first time.

In Finland, the government on Wednesday removed most EU countries from its "green travel list", meaning that only people arriving from a handful of states will be able to enter the country without coronavirus restrictions from Monday.

Read also: Finland Travel Restrictions Reinstated as Second Wave of Infections Hit Europe

Near-total collapse

Elsewhere, Iran's health ministry said the death toll has surpassed 20,000, six months after announcing the start of what quickly became the Middle East's deadliest outbreak.

Further evidence of the profound economic impact came when Australian flag carrier Qantas on Thursday posted an annual loss of almost US$2 billion after a "near-total collapse" in demand because of the pandemic.

But in China -- where the virus was first detected late last year -- the Super League is planning to allow a very limited number of spectators into a high-profile match on Saturday, the first time fans can attend a football game since the pandemic. (Writer: Florian Cazeres with AFP bureaus) 


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