France 'cannot lower its guard' in the fight against Covid-19, warned the prime minister on Thursday as he prolonged restrictions on daily life including the nighttime curfew and closure of bars and cultural centres.

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that all of the current Covid-19 restrictions would remain in place for the weeks to come.

This includes the nationwide curfew and the total closure of bars, restaurants, cafés, gyms, cinemas, theatres, museums and tourist sites.

“The time has not come to return to normal . . . We still admit one person to intensive care every seven minutes,” Castex said, “and one in two people in intensive care are there for Covid-19.”