France has recorded its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections since March, while President Emmanuel Macron has raised the possibility of another nationwide lockdown.

A further 7,379 cases were confirmed on Friday, bringing the country’s total to 267,077 and making it the largest daily spike since March 31, when 7,578 cases were tallied at the peak of the first wave.

France was seeing an “exponential” rise in cases, the health ministry said, and the surge follows daily increases of 6,111 on Thursday and 5,429 on Wednesday.

But despite the rise, hospital numbers and daily deaths have been relatively stable as younger people less vulnerable to the virus make up most of the new cases, the ministry said.

Deaths rose by 20 on Friday, bringing France’s overall death toll to 30,596.

Shortly before Friday’s figures were released, Mr Macron said a second national lockdown could not be ruled out if infections spiralled out of control.

“We’re doing everything to avoid another lockdown, and in particular a nationwide lockdown,” he said, but added that it couldn’t be ruled out.

“Containment is the crudest of measures to fight against a virus,” said Mr Macron, urging people to be “collectively very rigorous”.

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