French PM plans to get AstraZeneca vaccination as an example

France has entered third COVID-19 wave PM Jean Castex

He said the measures were due to an increased number of Covid-19 cases due to a "third wave" of the virus, with around 1,200 people in intensive care in the Paris region alone.

France had suspended the jab after a number of people in Europe reported blood clots developing after the vaccine was administered.

He said: "The epidemic is getting worse".

But speaking to broadcaster BFM-TV, Mr Castex said that he wants to get an AstraZeneca injection to set an example.

Castex said France faces a "third wave" of the pandemic, with three-quarters of new cases from the more contagious variant that originated in Britain, and more patients who are younger and in better health.

He added: "The moment has come to go further, with more demanding restrictions where things are most critical".

"This is the time required for them to create a substantial impact, unless of course, if significant positive results have not been seen in the meantime, then it is also the time that is important in helping us reach the first level".

The lockdown will be imposed on 16 hardest hit departments. Over the weekend, hospitals in the Paris area - which account for more than a quarter of all COVID-19 patients in intensive care units - begun transferring patients to other parts of France to reduce the burden on the capital's health care system.

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The BBC reported that the city will keep schools open, but all non-essential businesses will have to close.

"Outdoor activities permitted in a 10-km range".

"Our choice, to be less restrictive on possibilities to leave one's home, will need to go hand in hand with real caution", French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday.

Internal travel will also be prohibited, while this latest bout of restrictions will see a nationwide curfew put back to 7 pm local time.

Meanwhile, Spain, Italy, France and Germany will resume use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

"I am confident public trust in the vaccine will be restored", the French PM said.

The health ministry said there were 4,239 patients in intensive care units for COVID-19, up by 20 over 24 hours and setting a almost four-month high.

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