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French PM meets city officials ahead of new Covid warning

Health Minister expected to say new measures will be brought in if coronavirus cases cannot be contained

Prime Minister Jean Castex met officials from French cities worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, hours ahead of an expected warning from the government over the the number of cases.

Mr Castex spoke to delegations from Paris, Lyon, Lille, Grenoble, along with officials from regional authorities and health bodies to assess restrictions in those cities - where the number of cases are rising - and 'discuss possible adaptations', including 'strengthening measures' if necessary.

It echoes President Emmanuel Macron's comments on Wednesday from Latvia that the government could "take additional measures" on a weekly basis.

Read more: Why a second national lockdown in France can't be ruled out

The meetings come hours ahead of Health Minister Olivier Véran's weekly press conference, in which he is expected to say that if the health situation does not improve, new decisions will have to be taken.

He is not expected to extend stricter measures to further towns and cities, as officials weigh the effects of existing efforts to contain coronavirus outbreaks in cities such as Marseille. But he will repeat advice to people to avoid repeating unnecessary social interactions, by limiting the number of times they go out, for example.

Read more: Covid-19: Paris bars and restaurants risk closure

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