France has reported a record daily increase in coronavirus cases as the country struggles to contain a new surge of infections.
Health officials on Saturday said there were 10,561 new cases, an increase of more than 1,000 from Friday’s figures.
The number of people admitted to hospital and intensive care is also increasing.
A group of medics urged people to avoid private gatherings amid the new outbreak.
“After the joy of reuniting this summer, it is time to take care in the private world,” the doctors said Sunday in a column published in Le Journal du Dimanche.
“The smaller a room, the more people it contains, the less airy it is, the more risk you increase. “
France is one of many European countries to see an increase in new cases.
As authorities across the continent relaxed the strict lockdowns imposed in March to tackle the outbreak, new cases started to emerge in June and rose dramatically last month.
Which is the last in France?
Saturday’s figures showed 2,432 people sent to hospital, 75 more than Friday. Of these, 417 were sent to intensive care, an increase of 28.
17 more people have died from the virus. France has recorded more than 30,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, the seventh in the world.
Authorities have now designated 42 regions as “red zones,” where virus circulation is active and tighter mask requirements and collection restrictions are in place.
This includes Paris, Lyon and almost the entire Mediterranean coast.
Prime Minister Jean Castex – who recently tested negative after possible exposure to the virus – asked local authorities in Bordeaux, Marseille and the island of Guadeloupe to propose on Monday “a set of new additional measures” to contain the spread .
The organizers of the Tour de France, for their part, have prohibited spectators from starting and finishing stages passing through the red zones.
What is the situation elsewhere in Europe?
Several other European countries are grappling with new outbreaks.
The Czech Republic recorded a record daily increase for the third day in a row on Sunday, with 1,541 new infections. Neighboring countries have started restricting the entry of Czechs, with Germany announcing it will require a negative test for arrivals from Prague on Wednesday.
Spain also recorded its largest daily increase on Thursday, reporting 10,764 new infections – although the health ministry said the new cases were “stabilizing”. The country has the highest number of cases in Europe.
Princess Leonor, the heiress to the Spanish throne, 14, entered quarantine after one of her classmates tested positive for Covid-19. She and other students from the Santa María de los Rosales school in Madrid will be tested.
And in the UK, new cases rose to 3,497 on Saturday. Rules on gatherings have been tightened across much of the country – only six people will be allowed to meet indoors or outdoors in England and Scotland from Monday.