France’s Macron assessments constructive for Covid, prompting different prime EU officers to isolate
French President Emmanuel Macron wearing a protective face mask looks on as he makes a statement next to Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas following their meeting at the Elysee Palace on October 28, 2020 in Paris, France.
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LONDON — French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for Covid-19, prompting a number of other officials to enter into a period of quarantine.
The diagnosis was established “as soon as the first symptoms appeared,” Macron’s office said on Thursday. The brief statement did not provide any further details on the symptoms the president had experienced.
“In accordance with the health instructions in force applicable to all, the President of the Republic will isolate himself for 7 days.”
Macron, who turns 43 next week, will continue to work remotely, the statement added.
Brigitte Macron, the wife of the French president, will also self-isolate but the 67-year-old has reported no symptoms of Covid-19, her office said.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex, 55, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, 48, and European Council President Charles Michel, 44, have all said they will now self-isolate after coming into contact with the president in recent days.
Sanchez, who had lunch with Macron on Monday, said he would suspend all public activities through to Christmas eve.
Macron has also met with the OECD’s Angel Gurria and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa this week. The French president hosted a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
France has recorded more cases of the coronavirus than any other European nation and is behind only the U.S., India, Brazil and Russia, respectively, for the highest number of infections worldwide.
To date, more than 2.4 million people have contracted Covid-19 in France, with 59,472 related deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The Champs-Elysees Avenue and the Arc de Triomphe are seen after the Christmas illuminations were switched on in Paris, France, Nov. 22, 2020.
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Earlier this week, Macron replaced a six-week ban on movement with an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew until mid-January (with Christmas Eve as an exception).
The public health measures stipulate that museums, theaters, cinemas, bars and restaurants all must remain closed until January at least.
French ski resorts also remain shut, but Macron has said the hugely popular tourist spots may be able to reopen “under favorable conditions” from next month.
UK’s Johnson wishes Macron a ‘speedy recovery’
Macron is one of several world leaders to have tested positive for the coronavirus this year, including U.S. President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The U.K.’s Johnson — who was admitted to intensive care during his own personal battle with Covid in April — said via Twitter that he was sorry to hear Macron had tested positive for Covid, wishing him a speedy recovery.
Britain’s post-Brexit transition period ends on Dec. 31 and the pressure is on for talks between the U.K. and the EU to reach a trade deal before then.
Both the EU and the U.K.’s Parliament would be required to ratify a deal if there is an agreement.
One of the sticking points between the two sides has been fishing rights, with France’s Macron pushing for guaranteed access to British fishing waters. The U.K., meanwhile, has insisted a new agreement on fisheries must be based on the understanding that “British fishing grounds are first and foremost for British boats.”