The benchmark incidence rate in the neighbouring Alpes-Maritimes is likely to rise above the 200 per 100,000 people, prompting a return to a number of lockdown measures.

On Wednesday, July 21, the rate had climbed to 196 from 190 on Tuesday.

The significance of 200 positive tests per 100,000 is that this is the trigger point at which local Prefects are authorised to introduce local restrictions.

In fact, Bernard Gonzalez has already extended an order for masks to be worn in specific places until Monday, August 2.

The start of the school holidays and an influx of visitors has pushed the infection rate to 376 in the Pyrénées-Orientales, prompting the reintroduction of a night-time curfew from 23:00.

FILE PHOTO: Papers are inspected during the first lockdown in late March, 2020 Reuters