Health Minister Olivier Véran announced a new weekend lockdown for a Dunkirk on a trip to the northern port town on Wednesday.
“The epidemic is worsening across the country,” Véran said.
Infections have reached worrying levels in several parts of the country, spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters earlier on Wednesday after a weekly cabinet meeting.
The warning came only days after the French Riviera was ordered into lockdown for the coming two weekends to contain Covid-19 which has been spreading faster in the tourist hotspot than elsewhere in France, and border controls were tightened.
Attal said similar moves could become necessary elsewhere because of “a worsening situation” that he said “requires rapid and strong measures”.
The northern coastal city of Dunkirk was expected to be on the list for fresh restrictions after the infection rate there went over 900 for 100,000 people, close to nine times the national average.
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Around 10 of France’s 101 départements were in a “very worrying situation”, Attal said.
He did not name the départements, but the ones with the highest incidence rate currently are; Alpes Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Moselle, Nord, Oise, Pas-de-Calais, Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Somme, Var, Essonne, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne.
Ces départements sont :
06 Alpes Maritimes
94 Val-de-Marne pic.twitter.com/SElAVJxobn
— GRZ – CovidTracker (@GuillaumeRozier) February 24, 2021
All these départements have an infection rate higher than 250 per 100,000 inhabitants.
“We must continue all our efforts to avoid having to impose another national lockdown,” he said.
There was “obviously” no certainty that such a drastic measure could be avoided, he said, warning that the government would not hesitate to order such a move if it was deemed necessary.