French President Macron Tests Positive for COVID-19

French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, the Elysée Palace has confirmed in an official statement. Macron is set to self-isolate for seven days while continuing to fulfill his duties remotely. No further details were given regarding his condition except to say that he is “feeling well.”

Macron’s test result has implications that spread wider than himself — the French President had attended several state events in recent days, including an official EU summit. The summit took place on the 10th of December, but, according to an EU official, Macron was “considered a potential risk of contagion as of Monday evening 14 December”, meaning that the 26 presidents and prime ministers in attendance will not be obliged to enter a period of isolation.

The official further added that all attendees of the summit followed “all sanitary measures” and that “we have not been informed of any other participant or staff present during the summit who tested positive.” However, a number of European leaders came into contact with Macron at other events, and following their contact with the French President, are now set to begin their own quarantines. 

Among these leaders is Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who had lunch with Macron when the two political leaders met in Paris on Monday. Sanchez had earlier expressed his willingness to impose further COVID-related restrictions in Spain, saying, “if we need to toughen up the Christmas plan, nobody should harbor any doubt that the government of Spain will propose it.”

Also in attendance at the lunch were Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, and José Ángel Gurría, the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Other people who have entered isolation on account of Macron’s positive result include Richard Ferrand, the speaker of the French parliament, and Macron’s wife Brigitte, who tested negative for the virus on Tuesday.