France has announced tighter COVID-19 restrictions amid an ongoing surge in cases of the Omicron variant in the country.

Under new measures, nightclubs will remain closed until further notice, having initially been closed for four weeks earlier this month. Outdoor public gatherings of more than 5,000 people are also banned in the nation until further notice. Indoor seated gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people.

The new restrictions come as France recorded more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest number reported in the country since the pandemic began. A New Year’s Eve curfew has not been introduced despite increasing concerns around transmission.

The rules will also see French people encouraged to work from home where possible, while bars and cafés will only be able to carry out table service. Mask-wearing is now compulsory in city centres and crowded areas. 

The introduction of further restrictions in France follows similar measures in other European nations, with nightclubs closing across various regions of Germany until further notice, as well as in Portugal and Northern Ireland. Parts of northern Spain have also introduced curfews or entire closures for nightlife venues.

England is one of very few places in Europe where clubs will remain open, without restrictions, this weekend as people see in the new year.