The Alpes-Maritimes police commissioner on Monday announced a partial lockdown in between the French coastal towns of Menton and Theoule over the next two weekends in an effort to curb a surge in Covid-19 cases and the spread of new variants.
Bernard Gonzalez said controls at the France-Italy border would be tightened and that shopping centers larger than 5,000 square meters that do not sell food are to close starting Tuesday.
The Alpes-Maritimes region -- which includes the city of Nice -- has the highest incidence rate in France. The province is reporting 588 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days, according to the police commissioner, three times the national average.
An additional 4,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been sent to the region on Monday for use in the 48 to 72 hours that follow.
The partial weekend lockdown announcement follows a visit from French Health Minister Olivier Véran to the province on Saturday during which he called for stricter restrictions.
French President Emmanuel Macron has done everything to avoid a third nationwide lockdown, implementing a 6 p.m. curfew and reinforcing border controls.