French President Emmanuel Macron tests positive for coronavirus


France’s President Emmanuel Macron speaks to the press as he arrives at the EU headquarters’ Europa building in Brussels on December 10, 2020, prior to a European Union summit. (Photo by JOHN THYS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

PARIS (NewsNation Now) —  French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, the French Presidency said on Thursday.

Macron will cancel all his forthcoming trips, including a scheduled visit to Lebanon, a French presidency spokeswoman told Reuters.

It said the president took a test “as soon as the first symptoms appeared.” The brief statement did not say what symptoms Macron experienced. It was not known how Macron contracted the virus.

It said he would isolate himself for seven days. “He will continue to work and take care of his activities at a distance,” it added.

Macron is following French health authorities’ recommendations that since September have reduced the self-isolation time from 14 days to seven. Authorities said at the time that this is the period when there is the greatest risk of contagion and that reducing it allows better enforcement of the measure.

It was not immediately clear what contact tracing efforts were in progress. Macron attended a European Union summit at the end of last week, and he met Wednesday with the prime minister of Portugal. There was no immediate comment from Portuguese officials.

Macron and other government officials repeatedly say that they are sticking to strict sanitary protocols during the pandemic, including not shaking hands, wearing a mask and keeping distance from other people.

Macron joins other world leaders who have tested positive for the virus including President Donald Trump, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro.

France has had more than 2.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 60,000 deaths according to data complied by Johns Hopkins University.

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