Who has to self-isolate after Macron’s Covid-19 diagnosis?

Who has to self-isolate after Macron's Covid-19 diagnosis?
Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte both need to self-isolate after his Covid-19 diagnosis. Photo: AFP
With news that French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for Covid-19 anyone he has recently met will need to self-isolate - and that includes a host of European heads of state as well as French politicians.

Macron tested positive on Thursday after developing symptoms, his office said, adding that he has shown only mild symptoms.

The president, 42, will self-isolate and continue to work remotely, the Elysée added.

But anyone who has recently been in close contact with him may also need to self-isolate for seven days before getting tested for the virus. The French health system defines a cas contact (contact case) as a person who has been within 1m or who has spent more than 15 minutes in a room with a positive case, in the absence of a mask.

The government suggested that Macron may have become infected while attending an EU summit in Brussels last week.


Macron greets Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa. Photo: AFP

So who does that include?

Brigitte Macron – the president's wife. Brigitte, 67, has no symptoms but has been declared a contact case so will self-isolate. She had already self-isolated in October after coming into contact with a potential case, but tested negative. She also tested negative earlier in the week after a paying a visit to a hospital, according to French media. She has remained in the Elysée while Macron has travelled to La Lanterne, a hunting lodge on the Versailles estate that is an official residence of the French president.

Jean Castex – the prime minister. France's president and prime minister work closely together and have scheduled weekly lunches. Castex has already announced that he is a contact case and will self isolate.

Richard Ferrand – the head of the French parliament, Assemblée nationale. He had lunch at the Elysée on Tuesday and has declared himself a contact case.

The whole French government? The French Defence Council, which considers the latest Covid measures, and the Council of Ministers both met on Wednesday morning in meetings attended by Macron. However, the government says they are not considered contact cases because the meetings maintained the full protocol of gestes barrières (hygiene gestures) masks and physical distancing.

Alexis Kohler – Secretary General of the Elysée. The chief of staff at the presidential Elysée Palace has declared himself a contact case.

Marc Fesneau – the minister in charge of relations with the French parliament has also announced that he is self isolating.

Macron with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Photo: AFP

Antonio Costa – the prime minister of Portugal. The Portuguese president met Macron for lunch at the Elysée on Wednesday.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – the president of Egypt. The Egyptian president was hosted – controversially – by Macron earlier in he month. But as his visit took place on December 7th he may not need to self-isolate.

Charles Michel – president of the European Council. Macron on Monday hosted an event in Paris to mark the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),where he had lunch with Council president Michel.

Pedro Sanchez – prime minister of Spain. Also at the meal was the Spanish PM.

Angel Gurria – secretary general of the OED, was also president at the lunch.

Xavier Bettel – prime minister of Luxembourg. Bettel's office said he was self-isolating pending test results, as he had attended the same EU summit as Macron. Spokesmen for German chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said they did not consider self-isolation necessary.

Alexander De Croo – prime minister of Belgium. His office also said he would self-isolate as a precaution.

Gérard Larcher – the president of the French Senate  has so far not been declared a contact case, but according to protocol he is the person who takes over if the French president dies.


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