French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for Covid-19, and will self-isolate for a week

The Elysee Palace said in a statement that Macron, 42, had been diagnosed after being examined “at the onset of the first symptoms.”

“According to the health regulations currently in effect for everyone, the President of the Republic will isolate himself for a period of 7 days. He will continue to work and carry out his activities remotely.”

The French President held meetings with a number of senior European leaders in recent days, many of whom announced that they would quarantine in the wake of Macron’s diagnosis.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and European Council President Charles Michel have said they will be quarantined as a precaution.

Macron’s planned trip to Lebanon was canceled next week, and French Prime Minister Jean Castex has entered quarantine.

Here is what we know about Macron’s movements in recent days:

  • The Elysee Palace stated that on Wednesday it met with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa for lunch and attended a cabinet meeting.
  • On Tuesday, Macron met with different people, including the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer.
  • On Monday, he attended a working lunch in the Elysee marking the 60th anniversary of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, where he met with Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez, President of the European Council Michel, and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria.
  • Macron also attended the European Council in Brussels last Thursday and Friday, which was attended by European Union leaders.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry said that Sanchez would be immediately subjected to a week-long examination and quarantine. A European Commission spokesman said Michel would be subject to quarantine “as a precaution,” but noted that Michel had tested negative as of Tuesday.

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Macron is the latest global leader to test positive for coronavirus. US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, two key French allies, have been hospitalized after contracting the virus earlier in the pandemic.

“I’m sorry to hear that my friend EmmanuelMacron has tested positive for Coronavirus. We all wish you a speedy recovery,” Johnson wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wished Macron a “speedy recovery”.

On Wednesday, France reported 17,615 new cases of coronavirus, its highest since November 21, which brings the country to more than 2.4 million infections since the start of the epidemic.

The country also reported 289 deaths on Wednesday, raising it to 59,361 deaths from Covid-19.

Castex announced last week that the easing of restrictions would be delayed amid soaring infection rates. New cases remain well above the target of 5,000 new cases per day that Macron set as a precondition for lifting the lockdown.

French television showed footage of artists and cultural workers protesting across the country on Tuesday, with theaters, museums and cinemas not reopening as planned. Castex said they would remain in lockdown instead for an additional three weeks.

Castex said curfew hours were extended from 9 pm to 6 am Tuesday from 8 pm to 6 am, however, French citizens will no longer need certificates to leave their homes. It will also allow them to travel to other areas. Restaurants and cafes are still scheduled to reopen on January 20, 2021.

Sandrine Emile contributed to this report.

Sacha Woodward

"Wannabe writer. Lifelong problem solver. Gamer. Incurable web guru. Professional music lover."

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