France: Macron positive for COVID-19, European personalities in isolation

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Declared positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron will isolate himself for seven days, as well as several European figures such as the head of the Spanish government or the President of the European Council he met this week, upsetting the political and diplomatic agendas.

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After the diagnosis established by “RT-PCR tests carried out as soon as the first symptoms appear”, the Head of State “will isolate himself for 7 days” but “will continue to work and ensure his activities remotely”, the presidency announced in a statement.

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A trip by Emmanuel Macron to Lebanon, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, is canceled, said the Elysee. He was to spend a New Year’s Eve with the French soldiers of UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and meet again with the Lebanese leaders.

Several figures of the majority dined Wednesday evening with the president, and in particular his Prime Minister Jean Castex, whose test was negative but who remains in isolation as a precaution.

The President of the National Assembly Richard Ferrand, who also participated in this dinner, also isolated himself. Twelve people were present at this dinner, twice as many as the “six adults maximum at the table” instruction, issued by the government for the end of the year celebrations in order to limit the circulation of the virus.

According to the participants, the room was ventilated and the configuration of the meal around a very long table and a distance of more than one meter between each guest allowed to limit the risks of contamination.

But those attending this dinner are not the only ones to have had recent contact with the president.

Brigitte Macron, the wife of the head of state, tested negative on Thursday and has no symptoms. However, she will remain in solitary confinement, her cabinet told AFP.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who had lunch with Emmanuel Macron on Monday, announced that he would be in solitary confinement until December 24. The president also received Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Wednesday, who was also placed “in administrative segregation”.

Emmanuel Macron had lunch on Monday with the President of the European Council Charles Michel – who placed himself in quarantine “as a precaution” – as well as with the President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen, and the Secretary General of the OECD Angel Gurria, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the OECD. They have not yet indicated whether they are going into solitary confinement.

Johnson, von der Leyen, Sissi

Several foreign leaders have expressed their wishes for a good recovery to the French head of state, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had contracted the disease and was placed in intensive care in the spring.

“I am sorry to learn that my friend Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19. We all wish him a speedy recovery, ”he tweeted.

“Dear @EmmanuelMacron, I wish you a speedy recovery. I am wholeheartedly with you ”, also tweeted the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Same support from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, received last week by Emmanuel Macron, who said he also provided his country’s support “to France in its efforts to contain the spread of the virus”.

Russian President Vladimir Poutine has expressed his “concern” before wishing “a speedy recovery and good health for many years” to his French counterpart.

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