The French government has declared a public health state of emergency, starting from midnight on Friday.
In a statement, the government said COVID-19 was a disaster which endangered the health of the population and justified the adoption of strict measures.
President Emmanuel Macron is due to address the nation this evening and is expected to announce a curfew from 9pm to 6am, according to French media.
It is understood the curfew will apply to towns and cities that are on the maximum level of alert.
Areas under the maximum alert level have already had to close bars and restaurants are operating under restricted hours.
The move comes as the number of people in hospital with coronavirus in France has risen to more than 9,100 for the first time since the end of June.