France believes that new local barriers prevent the ‘deteriorating’ situation in Covid-19

France may need to impose new local restrictions to deal with a deteriorating situation in Covid-19 as it climbs to avoid a new national deadlock, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Infections have reached alarming levels in several parts of the country, spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters after a weekly government meeting.

The warning comes just days after the French Riviera was ordered to lock in over the next two weekends to contain Covid-19, which has spread faster in tourist hotspots than anywhere else in France, and border controls have been tightened.

Attal said similar moves may be necessary elsewhere due to “a deteriorating situation” which he said “requires swift and strong action”.

There are expectations that the northern coastal city of Dunkirk may be next on the list of new restrictions after the infection rate there exceeded 900 for 100,000 people, almost nine times the national average.

Health Minister Olivier Véran was expected to travel to Dunkirk later on Wednesday.

About 10 of France’s 102 territorial units, so-called departments, were now in a “very worrying situation”, Attal said.

“We must continue all our efforts to avoid having to impose another national suspension,” he said.

There was “obviously” no guarantee that such a drastic measure could be avoided, he said, warning that the government would not hesitate to order such a measure if it was deemed necessary.

Prime Minister Jean Castex will host a press conference to update the country on the situation in Covid on Thursday, Attal said.