France drastically stepped up its measures against the spread of the coronavirus on Saturday and announced the closure of all non-essential public places, including restaurants and cafes, from midnight (2300 GMT).
"For the time being, I have decided to close places that are open to the public that are not essential to the life of the country," Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told reporters.
"This includes in particular cafes, restaurants, cinemas and discos."
Senior health official Jerome Salomon meanwhile announced that the number of people killed by COVID-19 on the last day in France rose by 12 to 91, with a total of 4,500 infected.
Salomon added that from now on France has reached its highest hygiene alert at level three, which means that the virus is now actively circulating on French territory.
He added that the number of people infected has doubled in the past 72 hours.
Philippe said that the new measures will be adopted after the first anti-virus measures announced in France have been "underused".
Places of worship would remain open, but all worship and ceremonies would have to be postponed, he said.
The shops should also close, with the exception of essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies, he added.
Public transport would continue to work, but Philippe urged the French to "restrict their movements" and avoid traveling between cities.
However, he insisted that, despite the strict new rules, the first round of local elections would take place on Sunday as planned, with "strictly adhering to the guidelines of distance".
"I know that the French will show their calm, their civic mentality and their ability to follow the rules that we have put in place for their own safety," said Philippe.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)