Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes, Bernard Gonzalez, told the TF1 TV station on Saturday that a further tightening of restrictions in the department bordering Monaco is very much on the table.

“The risk of a general confinement must be taken into account, by everyone,” he said.

The coastal agglomeration of the department is already subject to a lockdown this weekend and next, as the authorities try to keep tourists away during the winter school holidays.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, on Friday ordered the closure of the beach and the pathway on the south side of the Promenade des Anglais.

The Alpes-Maritimes and the area around Dunkirk have much higher rates of coronavirus infections than the rest of France.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Jean Castex to take immediate measures to strengthen enforcement of existing restrictions, including the night-time curfew, and to “optimise the vaccination rollout,” despite the nationwide shortage of doses and the public’s reluctance to use the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He said that his objective is to avoid another national lockdown.

FILE PHOTO: French Prime Minister Jean Castex Reuters