French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday that because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus, the government will extend the 2100 to 0600 curfew to 38 more departments, starting from Friday at midnight.
He said the curfew would now impact a total of 46 million people and would include some overseas French territories. France has a population of about 67 million people.
Last week France already imposed a curfew in Paris and eight other big cities.
“A second wave of the coronavirus epidemic is now under way in France and Europe. The situation is very serious,” Castex said at a news conference, adding that the month of November would be very tough.
“The coming weeks will be hard and the number of deaths will continue to rise,” he said.
He said the curfew would take effect from Friday at midnight and remain in place for six weeks, adding that the situation would be evaluated next week and that curfew rules might be tightened if necessary.
France has reported more a seven-day average of more than 20,000 new cases over the past six days and the total number of confirmed infections is now over 957,000. More than 34,000 people have died from the disease.