Coronavirus live news: UK health secretary ‘cannot rule out’ England-wide restrictions as France reports 7,379 new cases | World news

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France reported a jump of 7,379 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours according to the Public Health France figures released on Friday evening. This is the highest figure for new cases since 31 March.

A historic check of the government’s Covid-19 website suggests it is the second-highest since the figures began to be reported by the health authorities on 2 March.

The number of new patients admitted to hospital remains relatively stable (+241) as does the number of admissions to intensive care (+32). The number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 rose by 20 in the previous 24 hours to a total of 30,596 since the start of the epidemic. There are 320 clusters currently under investigation, 31 more than the previous day. The percentage of positive tests is 3.9%.

The increase cannot be solely explained by an increase in testing, currently running at well over 800,000 tests per week. The health authorities aim to reach 1m tests were week by the end of September.

Santé Publique France says the “dynamic of transmission (of the virus) is growing strongly and is very worrying”. There has been an increase in the number of people showing Covid-19 symptoms – as opposed to being asymptomatic as was reported the previous week. All ages are affected, but there is a continuing increase in cases among young adults.

The rise comes at the end of the long summer holidays and just before la rentrée, (the return) the great resumption of working and school life in the country next week. All pupils are expected back at school on Tuesday or Wednesday, wearing masks if they are over 11 years old. All school staff must wear masks.

It is now obligatory to wear masks in outside public spaces in Paris and three city suburbs as well as Marseilles and Strasbourg. Faced with a surge in cases in the Grand Est (eastern France) the authorities in the Bas-Rhin have made it obligatory to wear masks outside in all towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants.

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