The number of new daily coronavirus infections in France has jumped above 30,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
There were a total of 30,621 new COVID-19 infections recorded on Thursday – a substantial rise from the 22,591 cases seen on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the number of people in France who have died with coronavirus rose by 88 to a total of 33,125, compared with 104 on Wednesday.
The country also has 1,750 patients in intensive care units – an increase of 77 in 24 hours.
It comes after France declared a state of emergency, with President Emmanuel Macron announcing a curfew between 9pm and 6am for the areas worst affected by coronavirus.
Ile-de-France and eight metropolitan areas – including Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Saint Etienne and Toulouse – will face the curfews for four weeks, starting on Saturday.
During the curfew hours, people will not be allowed to go to restaurants or visit friends – but there will be no restrictions on public transport or on people travelling within regions.
Anyone who is out during the curfew will need to have a good reason, the president said.
Following the curfew announcement, France’s finance minister said the state-guaranteed loans already put in place to help the hospitality industry during the pandemic will be extended by six months to June 2021.
Meanwhile, the home and office of health minister Olivier Veran have been searched by police, as part of an investigation into the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Officers also searched the homes of ex-prime minister Edouard Philippe and former health minister Agnes Buzyn, as well as other top officials.
The investigation has been ordered by a special court in France.
Patients, prison staff and police officers have filed 90 complaints in the last few months, largely over shortages of masks and other equipment and the speed in which large-scale testing was rolled out.