Paris, Jan 15: All of France will be under a stricter curfew starting Saturday at 6 p.m. for at least 15 days to fight spread of the coronavirus.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex also announced strict new controls for those arriving in France from countries outside the European Union. Starting Monday, they must produce a PCR test with negative results and self-isolate for seven days followed by a new, negative test.

France wants to coordinate a response with the European Union about arrivals from EU countries, he says. The French government is trying to avoid a third lockdown with partial measures like curfews the prime minister calls both preventative and reactive. Most regions were under an 8 p.m. curfew, but now everyone must be home at 6 p.m., Castex says. That means that stores must close by then. Bars and restaurants have been closed for months.

The average contamination rate for the coronavirus stands at about 16,000 people per day. France has one of the highest death counts in Europe, at more than 69,000, and ranks No. 7 in the world. - AP