President Emmanuel Macron has announced a new national lockdown in France.

In a televised address to the nation, Macron said that under the new measures, people would only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons.

Non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and bars, will close, but schools and factories will remain open.

Macron said the measure which will come into effect from Friday until December 1 was necessary as the country had been "overpowered by a second wave".

"Nothing is more important than human life," Macron said.

He said, "I decided that it was necessary to insist on a lockdown throughout the country from Friday. We've already reached 58 per cent capacity in IC units. In numerous places we have seen life saving operations delayed. And 9,000 patients will be in ICU by mid-November. that's our maximum capacity in France."

"As elsewhere in Europe, we are overwhelmed by a second wave that will probably be more difficult and deadly than the first," Macron said, adding, "If we did nothing... within a few months we would have at least 400,000 additional deaths."