France has reported record numbers of daily coronavirus cases as the country struggles to contain a sustained surge in infections.
On Saturday there were over 10,000 new Covid-19 cases – the country’s highest total since the coronavirus pandemic began.
This is the first time the number of people confirmed to have the virus exceeded 10,000 in 24 hours.
Friday had seen 9,406 new cases, according to data published by Public Health France.
The numbers of people admitted to hospital and intensive care are also increasing.
France has recorded more than 30,000 deaths since the pandemic began, the seventh highest total worldwide.
42 French regions are now red zones, where stricter mask requirements and gathering restrictions are being enforced.
These zones include Paris, Lyon, almost the entire Mediterranean coastline, and Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France in the Caribbean.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex warned on Friday that there has been a “clear worsening of the situation in France and the spread of Covid-19 will still be with us for some months”.
But he did not announce any major new restrictions, saying France’s aim is to “avoid a general lockdown and succeed in living with the virus through social distancing, mask-wearing and increased testing”, reports France 24.
Castex also announced that the period of self-isolation for those who test positive for Covid-19 will be changed from 14 days to seven days.
Jean-François Delfraissy, head of the scientific group advising the French government on coronavirus, said at a press conference that the cause of the uptick is linked to “some people not following the stipulated period of self-isolation”.
He added that the government would be “obliged to take a certain number of difficult decisions in the next eight to 10 days”.