Paris bars and cafes will have to close for two weeks from Tuesday in an effort to combat the latest surge in Covid-19 infections.
The French government confirmed on Sunday night that the alert level will be raised to maximum in the capital, but restaurants will not be forced to close.
Prime Minister Jean Castex’s office said there had been no improvement in the rate of infection transmission in the Paris region.
However, the government has said it is doing everything it can to avoid declaring a new state of emergency that would require a general lockdown.
Interior minister Gerald Darmanin acknowledged that the enforced closure of bars and cafes would be tough for everyone.
“We are French, we love to drink, to eat, to live, to smile and to kiss each other,” he told broadcaster Europe 1 on Sunday.
However, a poll published on Sunday reports that 61% of Parisiennes disagree and are in favour of a complete closure of bars.
Other large French cities including Lyon, Grenoble and Toulouse are near the maximum alert level and could be subject to similar measures as Paris.