People will not be allowed out the house between 20:00 and 06:00 without an authorisation form.
Christmas Eve will be exempt, but the rule will stay in place for New Year's Eve. Bars and restaurants are to remain closed until at least 20 January.
The number of people in France who have died from coronavirus infections rose by 790 on Tuesday to a total of 59,072.
People in France are no longer required to print or download an official justification for leaving their homes during the day.
But with daily infection rates more than double the 5,000-a-day target, a night curfew is being imposed and spot checks will be implemented.
Neighbouring Germany is introducing a hard Christmas lockdown on Wednesday after the number of infections there hit record levels.
Non-essential shops will close across the country, as will schools, with children to be cared for at home wherever possible.
Restaurants, bars and leisure centres have already been shut in Germany since November.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has blamed Christmas shopping for a "considerable" rise in social contacts.
The new lockdown will run from 16 December to 10 January, but this will be relaxed from 24 to 26 December when one household will be able to invite a maximum of four close family members from other households.