France recorded nearly 10,000 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, marking its highest tally in a day since the start of the epidemic.
Health authorities reported 9,843 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, surpassing the previous daily record of nearly 900.
The figures were released on the eve of a key meeting of ministers and health experts on the tightening measures.
France has the seventh highest death toll from Covid-19 in the world.
More than 30,800 people in the country have died from the coronavirus.
The number of patients in intensive care units across the country has also increased in recent days. While hospital figures are still far from the peaks reached in April, there are concerns about the pressure that rising infection rates could put on the health system.
At Friday’s meeting, officials will discuss introducing new measures to curb the spread of the virus.
The head of the scientific council which advises the government on the pandemic, Jean-François Delfraissy, warned that “hard” decisions could be necessary.
President Emmanuel Macron said the meeting would give the public a clear idea of what to expect in the coming weeks.
“We need to be as transparent and clear as possible,” he said Thursday, according to the AFP news agency. “We must be demanding and realistic without giving in to any panic. “
The country earlier this month unveiled a major economic stimulus package, aimed at helping undo the economic damage caused by the coronavirus.
Dubbed the “relaunch of France”, it aims to reverse rising unemployment and includes tax cuts for businesses.
What is happening elsewhere in Europe?
Other countries in Europe are also experiencing an increase in coronavirus cases.
Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the UK rose by more than 2,000 for the fifth day in a row on Thursday, as England put mainland Portugal back on its quarantine list. England is also preparing to implement new restrictions, banning social gatherings of more than six people.
Spain this week became the first country in the European Union to record more than half a million cases of Covid-19, after adding some 100,000 new cases last month.
The World Health Organization has warned of a possible resurgence of the disease in Europe in October and November.
A number of countries have reimposed local lockdowns in their worst-hit regions, and there have been new calls for people to wear face masks and follow social distancing rules.
Students in many countries have returned to school in recent days, after months out of class due to the pandemic.