Macron is the latest world leader to test positive for the virus, including President Trump, Boris Johnson and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro. They have all recovered.
The French president’s itinerary this past week has seen him interact with several heads of state, including at least Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who is now under quarantine after having dinner with Macron on Monday at the Elysee Palace in Paris. French Prime Minister Jean Castex, who has also been in contact with Macron, said he would also isolate himself, France Media mentioned.
But Macron met face to face with the leaders of the 24 countries of the European Union on Thursday and Friday last week at a summit in Brussels. (There were two absent leaders: Croatia was sick with Corona VirusBefore the summit, some diplomats were concerned about the health risks of the in-person meeting. An EU spokesperson did not immediately respond to a question about whether the leaders who were present would now be quarantined.
An EU official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the health situation frankly, said that the French authorities have informed the European Union that they believe that Macron poses a risk of transmission starting Monday evening, which means that leaders who attended last week’s summit are not considered contacts.
The official said health measures had been taken at the summit and no other participant had tested positive. It was not immediately clear why France believed Macron was contagious starting Monday evening.
In any case, not all European leaders seem to trust the Elysee’s assurances that Macron was not contagious last week. Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Crowe said he is undergoing a coronavirus test and will be isolated until he receives the result, after sitting in a room with Macron – alongside most of Europe’s leaders – for nearly 24 hours in a row starting in the afternoon of December 10.
This week, in addition to Sanchez, Macron also met with European Council President Charles Michel on Monday and with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the day before his diagnosis, Macron held a cabinet meeting, although it was not immediately clear if it was done in person, and if so, did all of the participants wear masks. The Elysee Palace did not immediately respond to questions about the details of that meeting.
A spokesman for Michel said Michel will be isolated “as a precaution,” although his test results are negative on Tuesday and “not considered in close contact,” his spokesman, Barren Letts, wrote on Twitter.
According to a statement issued by her office to Agence France-Presse, the French first lady Brigitte Macron is also subject to self-quarantine, but she is not currently showing symptoms. Her office said she tested negative for coronavirus as of late Tuesday, before visiting the pediatric ward in a Paris hospital.
In late October, a wave of injuries prompted Macron to release Another national shutdown, Which is the second in the country since the start of the epidemic. While unnecessary shops The re-opening began Late last month, bars and restaurants should remain closed until January, and the evening curfew is still in effect.
Macron said exceptions will be given on Christmas Eve so that people can “share these moments together among family members.”
While the number of new infections reached Show some improvement After the closure of nearly a month, hospitals appear to be more saturated than they were during the first wave in the spring.
Macron said vaccination in France is scheduled to begin in late December or early January and will not be mandatory.
Macron’s positive diagnosis raised immediate questions about the handling of Brexit negotiations, which should end within days if there is any chance for Britain and the European Union to ratify a trade agreement by December 31, the day London will cut its final ties with the European Union. . Mass. The leaders had previously raised the possibility of holding an additional personal summit in the next two weeks to finalize the deal.
European policymakers have complained that negotiations over thorny issues are nearly impossible when conducted by default, as has often been the case since March.
Macron has been one of the most stubborn European leaders during the Brexit talks, and his signature is crucial to any Brexit deal.
The Elysee did not provide details on the specifics of Macron’s case, but a spokesperson said he would still chair a meeting Thursday on development via videoconference from isolation.
The Birnbaum Report from Brussels. Rick Nowak in Berlin and Theo Armos in Washington contributed to this report.