PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, the Elysee Palace announced on Thursday morning.
A brief statement was released saying the president took a test “as soon as the first symptoms appeared”. An Élysée spokesperson said Macron has a “fever” and is “tired [and] coughing”.
“He will continue to work and take care of his activities at a distance,” the statement added.
Macron will now isolate himself for seven days. He’s traveled from Paris to the presidential residence La Lanterne to begin his 7-day quarantine, according to the spokesperson.
“In accordance with current health regulations applicable to all, the President of the Republic will isolate himself for 7 days,” the statement read. “He continues to work and carry out his activities remotely.”
The spokesperson went on to add that the President had gotten messages from other leaders around the world. He had a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump, who had the coronavirus earlier this year.
Prime Minister Jean Castex has gone into quarantine after testing negative on Thursday morning. The President of the National Assembly Richard Ferrand is also quarantining for seven days.
Macron had meetings with several leaders during the week and most have said they will begin isolation periods as well. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, European Council President Charles Michel and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurri have all said they will begin quarantine as a precaution.
The news comes as France reported 17,615 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, making the number 2.4 million infections since the start of the pandemic. Several theaters, museums, and cinemas did not re-open as planned, leading to protests.
The country will now go into lockdown and see stricter curfews. The curfew hours of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. were also extended on Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Restaurants and cafés are still scheduled to reopen on January 20, 2021.