French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, the presidential Elysee Palace announced on Thursday.
It said the president took a test “as soon as the first symptoms appeared.” The brief statement did not say what symptoms Macron experienced.
It said he would isolate himself for seven days. “He will continue to work and take care of his activities at a distance,” it added.
A spokesman said all his travels had been canceled, including a scheduled visit to Lebanon on December 22nd. He added that the French president and his team are trying to determine where he may have contracted the virus.
Macron attended a meeting of European Council leaders on December 10 and 11. His program last week also included a private dinner with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, during which he presented him with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor.
He also had lunch this week with European leaders Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, as well as with the prime ministers of Spain and Portugal. He was also seen shaking hands with OECD chief Angel Guria.
Prime Minister Jean Castex, who has been in contact with the French head of state, is accordingly being isolated, “although he does not show any symptoms of the disease,” his representatives said.
Castex will therefore not go to the Senate, where he was expected to present the government’s vaccination strategy today, as he did at the previous National Assembly. He summoned Senate President Gerard Larse to apologize for his absence.
Another contact of Macron’s, the president of the National Assembly Richard Ferran, was also isolated, according to an announcement made by the presidency of the House.
Macron’s wife, Brigitte, currently “has no symptoms,” according to a statement from her office. She had tested negative for COVID-19 on Tuesday, before visiting a pediatric ward at St. Louis Hospital in Paris.
European Council President Charles Michel places himself in isolation
European Council President Charles Michel also has been isolated for precautionary reasons after meeting with Macron on Monday, an EU spokesman noted.
“Michel was informed by the French authorities that he was not considered to be in close contact. He was examined regularly and was diagnosed negative on Tuesday. However, for precautionary reasons, the president will be placed in self-isolation,” the spokesman said.
The Prime Minister of Portugal is also isolating himself after a meeting he had with President Macron. PM Antonio Costa has canceled official trips he was planning to make and is isolating himself, his office said today, less than 24 hours after a meeting with Macron.
Costa is showing no symptoms of the new coronavirus and is awaiting the result of the test he underwent earlier today, which he had previously planned to make on his official trip to Sao Tome and Principe and Guinea-Bissau between December 18 and 20, according to with his office.