“These variants, because they are more contagious, are gradually replacing Covid-19 in the form we know it,” said France's health minister Olivier Véran in the government's weekly briefing on Thursday.
“Our objective is clear; we want to limit the spread of these variants as much as possible.”
Since the announcement of the new variant in the UK just before Christmas, France has been extremely concerned that the explosion of cases of deaths witnessed in the UK would be repeated here.
Very strict travel rules are in place for the UK, with most forms of travel banned and compulsory testing and quarantine.
But the French government is also conducting regular 'flash' genetic tests on Covid samples around the country to track the progress of the variants.
From 1 percent in early January, variants now make up 14 percent of cases across France, but there are wide regional variations.
Public health agency Santé Publique France has now released regional data based on a flash survey of 136 labs spread over the 13 regions of mainland France, plus French overseas territory, which covered 95,000 tests.
The tests covered the variants discovered in the UK, South Africa and Brazil and the UK variant accounted for the great majority of cases – of a France-wide total of 14.6 percent, the South African and Brazilians variants accounted for just 0.6 percent.
The darker the blue, the higher the percentage of cases are the variant. The regions that are grey are where SPF considers they did not get enough data to draw a meaningful conclusion.