Due to the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, France could soon have 100,000 new COVID-19 cases each day, but Health Minister Olivier Veran indicated on Wednesday that the government has no plans to implement any restrictions for the time being.

To keep the virus under control, President Emmanuel Macron is banking on an accelerated vaccine booster programme. Veran predicted that by Christmas, 22-23 million booster doses would have been administered, up from 20 million on Wednesday.

"The goal isn't to slow down the virus's spread because the variant is too infectious.  The goal is to reduce the risk of serious cases overwhelming hospitals," Veran said. “This is why we are moving fast on booster shots.”

Omicron has elicited a mixed response throughout Europe.

French health minister hopes COVID curfew will have positive impact from  next week | Reuters.com

Germany, Scotland, Ireland, and the Netherlands are among the countries that have reintroduced partial or full lockdowns or other forms of social distancing. Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, said he will not implement new COVID-19 restrictions in England before Christmas, but warned that he might have to act afterwards. 

As it fights a fifth wave of the pandemic, France is reporting roughly 70,000 coronavirus cases every day. By early January, the Omicron variant will be the dominant virus strain in France, according to Veran.

For months, citizens in France have needed a health pass to visit bars, restaurants, museums, and other venues for entertainment. It has closed nightclubs and cancelled New Year's Eve fireworks shows in recent days.

Veran, however, said there were no plans for additional restrictions or an extension of school vacations at this time, though he cautioned that nothing could be ruled out.

On Tuesday, France recorded 210 COVID-19 deaths in hospitals, bringing the country's overall death toll to 94,913.