France could impose third national suspension if Covid cases continue to rise

France has not ruled out imposing a third nationwide deadlock if coronavirus cases continue to rise, its health minister said on Sunday, claiming a possible post-Christmas increase.

“We will never exclude measures that are necessary to protect the public,” Olivier Veran told the Journal du Dimanche.

“It is not to say that we have made a decision, but that we are following the situation hour by hour.”

France has registered about 15,000 new infections per day and on Friday confirmed the first case of a new coronavirus variant that recently emerged in the UK.

Coronavirus pandemic: France launches vaccine campaign

The new tribe, which experts fear is more contagious, prompted more than 50 countries to impose restrictions on Britain.

Following a swift 48-hour ban on UK arrivals this week, France has reopened its borders – partly to allow French citizens to return home but also to alleviate the massive build-up of goods.

On Saturday, it received the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that it will use in its mass inoculation campaign.