The Elysee Palace said Macron, 42, was diagnosed after he was tested “at the onset of the first symptoms.”
“In accordance with current health regulations applicable to all, the President of the Republic will isolate himself for 7 days. He continues to work and carry out his activities remotely,” the statement added.
French first lady Brigitte Macron, 67, has protectively gone into quarantine but has “presented no symptoms,” her office told French media. Prime Minister Jean Castex has also gone into quarantine, and Macron’s planned trip to Lebanon next week has been canceled.
The French President had meetings with a number of other top European leaders in recent days, several of whom announced they would quarantine in the wake of Macron’s diagnosis.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and European Council President Charles Michel said they would go into quarantine as a precautionary measure.
Here’s what we know about Macron’s movements in recent days:
- On Wednesday, he met Portuguese Prime Minister Costa for lunch, and attended a cabinet meeting, according to the Elysee Palace.
- On Tuesday, Macron met with various people including the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer.
- On Monday, he attended a working lunch at the Elysee marking the 60th anniversary of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, where he met with Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez, European Council President Michel and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria.
- Macron was also at the European Council in Brussels last Thursday and Friday, which was attended by 25 of the 27 EU leaders (two were absent for Covid-related reasons).
An EU official in the European Council, who is not authorized to speak on the record about protocol measures, told CNN that “all sanitary measures were observed, and we have not been informed of any other participant or staff present during the summit who tested positive.”
Spain’s foreign ministry said Sanchez would immediately take a test and quarantine for a week. He sent his “best wishes” to Macron in a tweet. A European Commission spokesman said Michel would go into quarantine “as a precaution,” but noted that Michel had tested negative as recently as Tuesday.
Macron is the latest major world leader to test positive for the novel coronavirus. US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, key French allies, were both hospitalized after contracting the virus earlier in the pandemic.
“Sorry to hear my friend @EmmanuelMacron has tested positive for coronavirus. We are all wishing you a speedy recovery,” Johnson tweeted Thursday.
European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen wished Macron “a quick recovery.”
France has been in a lockdown since early November. It was due to be lifted this week, but this has been delayed as new cases remain well above the target of 5,000 per day that Macron had set as a precondition to lifting the restrictions.
France on Wednesday reported 17,615 new coronavirus cases, its highest figure since November 21, bringing it to more than 2.4 million infections since the start of the pandemic. The country also reported 289 deaths Wednesday, taking it to a total of 59,361 Covid-19 fatalities.
French television showed footage of artists and cultural workers protesting throughout the country on Tuesday after theaters, museums, and cinemas did not reopen as planned. They will instead remain closed for three additional weeks, Castex said.
The curfew hours of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. were also extended on Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. However, French citizens will no longer need certificates to leave their homes, Castex said. They will also be allowed to travel to other regions. Restaurants and cafés are still scheduled to reopen on January 20, 2021.