French health authorities reported 8,550 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, down from Friday’s record of 8,975.
The number of people in France who have died from Covid-19 increased by 12 to 30,698, and the cumulative number of cases now totals 317,706, the health ministry said.
Friday’s figure had set a new all-time high of daily additional infections since the disease started to spread in the country at the end of the winter.
It came as the French education ministry said 22 schools were closed across France and its overseas territories due to Covid-19 outbreaks, just days after some 12 million children returned to school earlier this week.
Paris and other cities have started requiring face masks in all public areas, including for children above 11.
But residents in some cities have been pushing back, seeking eased mask rules in public, for example at night or in areas where crowds do not generally gather.
On Friday, a court in the southeastern city of Lyon ordered the authorities to soften the rules to take “local circumstances” into account, though for now the strict requirement remains in effect.
In France, anyone can access a Covid-19 test for free and usually without an appointment. However testing sites in Paris have been dogged with long waiting times this week, with holidaymakers returning home after summer vacations in July and August.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS and AFP)