Castex also said that from Monday and for the next three weeks, all public gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people for indoor events, and to 5000 people for outdoor events.
Consumption of drinks and food will be banned in long-distance transport as well as in movie theaters and home working will become mandatory for at least three days per week where possible, Castex said.
The government has also decided to make face masks mandatory outdoors in city centres, under the authority of local government representatives.
“I know that it feels like a film without ending, but a year ago we started our vaccination campaign and now we are one of the best vaccinated and best protected people in the world,” Castex told a news conference following a cabinet meeting.
Castex said that the government’s planned vaccine pass – which will require proof of vaccination, not just a negative test – will take effect from January 15, if parliament approves a draft government bill.
Castex also said that food and drink in bars and restaurants will have to be consumed seated, not standing.
Unlike other countries which have delayed the return of pupils to school, French schools will reopen as planned on January 3 Castex said.
Castex said that the Covid incidence rate – the number of infections per 100,000 people per week – is now well over 700 and at a record level since the start of the epidemic.