The coronavirus has not spared European political leaders either. French President Emmanuel Macron fell ill. Before getting a positive test, he participated in events with other EU leaders. So the top officials of the European Union went to self-isolation together.
The 42-year-old French president was tested for coronavirus after showing symptoms. Macron is isolated for 7 days but will continue to work.
While it is unclear where Macron may have been infected, his office is trying to identify all of the president’s recent contacts. Other French dignitaries may have to go into isolation before Christmas. The head of the French government Jean Castex and the speaker of parliament Richard Ferrand were forced to isolate themselves.
The epidemiological situation in the country remains serious. Authorities have imposed widespread nighttime curfews last week in an effort to prevent another spike in illness after the Christmas holidays.
France ranks fifth in the world in terms of the number of cases during the entire period of the pandemic — almost 2.5 million people, 59.4 thousand died.
On Tuesday, December 15, President Macron met with the leaders of the French parliament, and on Monday, December 14 — with members of the intergovernmental group of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In addition, the French president, along with other leaders of the EU countries, attended the summit in Brussels.
After it became known that Macron tested positive for coronavirus, European Council President Charles Michel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, OECD Chairman Angel Gurria, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa were forced to self-isolate.
The Spanish prime minister has tested negative for coronavirus, but he will continue to work remotely during the quarantine introduced in the country. The Portuguese prime minister is still awaiting test results, but canceled all official visits and isolated himself — on Wednesday, December 16, he had a working lunch with President Macron.
The prime ministers of Belgium and Luxembourg, Alexandre de Cru and Xavier Bettel, who also had contact with the French leader, also went to self-isolation.
Irish Prime Minister Michal Martin received a negative test but will limit contacts.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not take off her masks during the summit and on Thursday tested negative for coronavirus.