France hit a record for daily coronavirus infections, with 26,896 positive cases diagnosed in 24 hours, up from the figure of 20,339 the day before, which also reached a record high.
The official daily figures on Saturday also showed 54 more deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the country since the start of March to 32,684.
The latest figures came as the authorities closed the bars in Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint Etienne, which are now officially on “maximum alert”.
Restaurants in high alert areas are also subject to strict sanitary measures, including a limit of six guests per table who must remain masked until their food is placed in front of them.
Paris has already been on high alert since Tuesday and Marseille since late last month, although Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday that the situation was improving in the southern city and that he hoped to be able to lower his level of alert next week.
France was one of the European countries hardest hit by the first wave of the virus and suffered a strict 55-day lockdown from mid-March to mid-May.
Australian Associated Press