The French will face a strict lockdown across the country from Saturday.
Non-essential stores must close and there is a curfew from 7pm.
People also need a valid reason to move more than 10 kilometers from their home.
After the weekend, schools also have to close their doors for at least three weeks.
With these emergency measures, the French government wants to put a brake on the rising number of corona infections.
Hospitals in hard-hit regions are now grappling with the influx of seriously ill corona patients.
More than 5100 people were in intensive care at the end of last week.
Political opponents are not pleased with President Emmanuel Macron's corona policy.
He tried for months to avoid a new national lockdown, but was eventually forced to change course.
His rival Marine Le Pen of the right-wing populist Rassemblement National accused him of pursuing a "wobbling policy" that ordinary French now pay the price for.
Corona infections and deaths per week in France
Source: ECDC © LocalFocus / ANP