Wed. Feb 24th, 2021

The Elysee Palace said in a statement that 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 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.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and European Council President Charles Michel said they would go into quarantine as a precautionary measure.

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

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

  • On Wednesday, he met Portugal’s Prime Minister António 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 EU leaders.

Spain’s foreign ministry said Sanchez would immediately take a test and quarantine for a week. 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 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 on Wednesday reported 17,615 new coronavirus cases, its highest figure since November 21, bringing the country 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.

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

French television showed footage of artists and cultural workers protesting throughout the country on Tuesday as 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.

Sandrine Amiel contributed reporting.

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