France has 27,228 virus cases, 302 deaths

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France has registered 27,228 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a further 302 deaths in 24 hours, although there are signs of a fall in infection rates.

France has now recorded 1,981,827 confirmed COVID-19 cases in all, while 44,548 people have died from the virus - the seventh-highest toll in the world.

Nevertheless, Sunday's data marks a slight decrease compared with the previous day's figures in terms of new confirmed cases and deaths.

Meanwhile, Catholic protesters holding banners reading "Let us Pray" and "We Want Mass", have held scattered demonstrations to demand authorities relax lockdown measures to allow religious services.

In the western city of Nantes, hundreds gathered in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary, some kneeling on the rain-soaked pavement, according to local broadcaster France Bleu.

Similar gatherings were reported or planned in the eastern city of Strasbourg, in Bordeaux in the southwest and outside the Saint-Louis Cathedral in Versailles.

Predominantly Catholic France banned Mass and other religious services for the month of November.

Churches and other religious sites remain open for individual visitors to come and pray.

France is in the middle of its second, national lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, following its March-May shutdown.

President Emmanuel Macron's government has set a December 1 deadline this time, although he says it could be extended if it's felt numbers are not falling fast enough.

The government is under pressure from shops and businesses to loosen restrictions in time for Christmas.

Macron has taken to Twitter to remind the public of basic measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

"Our fight against the epidemic involves all of us and the next few days will be decisive," he wrote on Saturday.