COVID-19: French president Emmanuel Macron tests positive for coronavirus

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Watch: COVID-19 - French president Emmanuel Macron tests positive for coronavirus

France's president Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for coronavirus, his office has said.

The Elysee Palace in Paris said on Thursday the 42-year-old was tested after showing early symptoms.

He will now isolate for seven days but will continue to work and carry out his activities remotely.

The brief statement did not give details of the symptoms the French president was experiencing.

His wife Brigitte, 67, is also self-isolating, her office said, although she is not showing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Mr Macron was due to visit Lebanon next week on 22 December. The trip has now been cancelled, a spokeswoman said.

It was not immediately clear what contact tracing efforts were in progress, but palace officials added he was trying to assess where he may have contracted the virus.

He met several world leaders and top officials during the 10 days before he tested positive for coronavirus - with several images showing close contact with some.

Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa, 59, cancelled official trips and is isolating after meeting Mr Macron for a working lunch at the palace on Wednesday.

He is said to be displaying no symptoms and is awaiting the result of a COVID test he took earlier today which had already been booked before his official trips to Sao Tome and Principe and Guinea Bissau in Africa between 18 and 20 December.

Mr Macron also held a weekly cabinet meeting yesterday.

Spain's prime minister Pedro Sanchez - who met Mr Macron on Monday - is suspending all public activities and is in quarantine until Christmas Eve, the Spanish government said.

The 48-year-old was among guests invited to the Elysee Palace as part of events marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) convention at the start of the week.

These included European Council President Charles Michel, 44, and Angel Gurria, 70, Secretary-General of the OECD.

An EU spokesman said Mr Michel was also in self-isolation as a precaution. There was no immediate comment from Mr Gurria's office.

The French president was among EU leaders and delegates at a European Council heads of state meeting at the end of last week in Brussels, Belgium, between 10 and 11 December.

Those in attendance included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ireland's PM Micheal Martin, Dutch PM Mark Rutte, Belgian PM Alexander De Croo, Italian PM Giuseppe Conte, European Parliament President David Sassoli and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Only two leaders were missing from the summit - Estonia's prime minister Juri Ratas and Croatia's Andrej Plenkovic.

Mr Martin is limiting his contacts and is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, a spokesman said.

The German government said Ms Merkel tested negative for the coronavirus after the summit.

The diagnosis also comes nine days after a state visit to Paris by Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, 66.

During the two-day trip, Mr Macron presented his Egyptian counterpart with the Legion of Honour - the highest French award.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who contracted the virus himself in March, and Ms von der Leyen were among the first to wish Mr Macron a return to good health.

Mr Johnson tweeted: "Sorry to hear my friend @EmmanuelMacron has tested positive for coronavirus. We are all wishing you a speedy recovery."

Ms von der Leyen also wished the French president a "quick recovery".

"I am wholeheartedly with you," she tweeted, adding: "This pandemic, we are going to defeat it together. We will continue to work hand in hand to immunise and protect our citizens."

France's Prime Minister Jean Castex will also self isolate after coming into contact with Mr Macron over the last few days, said Gerard Larcher, head of the Senate, the upper house of the French parliament.

For several months, masks have been required in all indoor public places in France and outdoors in big cities.