President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday ordered a nighttime curfew for Paris and eight other French cities to contain the rising spread of Covid-19 in the country.
In a televised interview, Macron said residents of those cities would not be allowed to be outdoors between 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) and 6:00 am (0400 GMT) from Saturday, for a duration of at least four weeks, except for essential reasons.
"We have to act. We need to put a brake on the spread of the virus," Macron said, adding the measure would stop people visiting restaurants and private homes in the late evening and night.
In addition to Paris and its region, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse were being targeted by the measures, Macron said.
"We won't be leaving the restaurant after 9:00 pm," Macron said. "We won't be partying with friends because we know that that's where the contamination risk is greatest."
Anyone found to be outdoors during the curfew without special authorisation would face a fine of 135 euros ($159), Macron said.
"We are in a worrying situation," Macron said, while insisting France had not "lost control" of the virus and a second full lockdown, like the two-month measure earlier this year, would be "disproportionate".