In an interview with French public radio France Inter, Prime Minister Jean Castex said people who resisted mask-wearing, now compulsory in the workplace, enclosed public spaces and on public transport, should "think of others", reports FRANCE 24.
"They all have vulnerable and elderly people in their families. People feel invincible and think that they do not need a mask."
"People will contaminate others," he warned. "I appeal to a sense of responsibility."
Castex said the French government alone could not bear all responsibility for curbing the outbreak, and "everyone must feel invested in the fight against the epidemic".
France on Tuesday reported over 3,300 new infections in 24 hours, with new admissions to hospital and intensive care also continuing an upward trend observed in recent weeks following a dip brought about by a near two-month social lockdown.
Asked whether the government could issue new stay-at-home orders if the situation spirals out of control, Castex said Wednesday "all hypotheses" were on the table, though a new lockdown was "not the goal" given the severe economic impacts.
The government is to unveil details of an economic revival plan worth some 100 billion euros ($118 billion) on Thursday next week, and Castex announced the cultural sector would receive two billion euros to cover lost revenue.
He added a 5,000-person limit for concerts and sporting events will remain in place.
In addition, local authorities in departments with high virus rates, including the [greater] Paris Ile-de-France region, will no longer have the power to grant exceptions to the attendance limit.
Given that no proven vaccine or cure exists, Castex warned the population must learn to "live with the virus".
But life also has to go on, and Castex said the government would do all it can for the French to resume work, school and social and cultural participation "as normally as possible".