World News

Oops, I forgot my mask! French minister makes COVID faux pas

PARIS (Reuters) - A French government minister buried her face in her hands after she realised she had arrived at the annual national day parade and forgotten her mask.

Agnes Pannier-Runacher, a junior minister responsible for the industry portfolio, arrived in a chauffeur-driven car at the Place de la Concorde in Paris for the start of the Bastille Day military parade.

She greeted other dignitaries - many of them wearing face coverings - but then realised she did not have her own mask. She briefly tried to run after her car to retrieve the mask, but the vehicle had driven off.

She could be seen waving her hands, talking animatedly to officials around her, and pointing to her face. A few moments later, an official saved the minister’s blushes by bringing her a spare mask.

French President Emmanuel Macron has encouraged his compatriots to wear masks whenever possible when they are in public spaces, even outdoors.

Reporting by Michaela Cabrera; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Giles Elgood