French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Tuesday vowed he would be vaccinated "very quickly" with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to give the public confidence in the jab if it is ruled as safe by the European Union medicines agency.
"The epidemic is getting worse", he said, according to Reuters.
But speaking to broadcaster BFM-TV, Mr Castex said that he wants to get an AstraZeneca injection to set an example.
The lockdown will be imposed on the 16 hardest hit departments, the prime minister said, including Paris and its surroundings, as well as parts of the north.
Schools will remain open under the latest measures, but all non-essential shops will be required to close.
"I think the opinion will be positive and. we can restore a full confidence in this vaccine".
Castex indicated that new restrictions could be put in place for the Paris region, such as the weekend lockdowns already imposed in the Nice and Calais regions.
The government had no regrets about not locking down earlier, Castex said.
"We are doing everything we can to win this race against time, and we will get there", the prime minister said.
"It was the right decision in January. We did well not to do so".
Health Minister Olivier Veran said some hospitals would start using monoclonal antibodies which are synthetically manufactured copies of infection-fighting proteins, on certain patients at high risk of progressing to severe illness.
Not everyone agrees. In the intensive care unit of a private hospital on the edge of Paris, doctors expressed resignation at having once again to deal with overloaded wards.
Health Minister Oliver Véran said he hoped "with these braking measures we will pass the peak of this wave and on the other side of this wave we will find spring and unlike previous year the protection of the population through vaccination".