French President Emmanuel Macron exams optimistic for Covid

French President Emmanuel Macron, wearing a protective face mask, watches as he makes a statement alongside Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas after his meeting at the Elysee Palace on October 28, 2020 in Paris, France.

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LONDON – French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for Covid-19 and has prompted a number of other officials to enter a quarantine period.

The diagnosis was made “as soon as the first symptoms appeared,” Macron’s office said Thursday. The brief statement gave no further details about the symptoms the President had experienced.

“In accordance with health directives that apply to everyone, the President of the Republic will isolate himself for 7 days.”

Macron, who turns 43 next week, will continue to work remotely, the statement added.

Brigitte Macron, the French President’s wife, will also self-isolate, but the 67-year-old has not reported any symptoms of Covid-19, according to her office.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex (55), Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (48) and European Council President Charles Michel (44) have all said they will now self-isolate after contacting the President in recent days.

Sanchez, who had lunch with Macron on Monday, said he would cease all public activities until Christmas Eve.

Macron also met with Angel Gurria from the OECD and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa this week. The French president held a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Covid curfew

France has registered more cases of the coronavirus than any other European nation, trailing only the US, India, Brazil and Russia for the highest number of infections in the world.

To date, more than 2.4 million people in France have been infected with Covid-19, with 59,472 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Champs-Elysees Avenue and the Arc de Triomphe can be seen after the Christmas lights were turned on on November 22, 2020 in Paris, France.

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Earlier this week, Macron replaced a six-week ban on movement with a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until mid-January (with the exception of Christmas Eve).

The public health measures stipulate that museums, theaters, cinemas, bars and restaurants must remain closed at least until January.

French ski resorts will also remain closed, but Macron said the hugely popular tourist attractions may reopen “on favorable terms” from next month.

Johnson from Great Britain wishes Macron a “speedy recovery”

Macron is one of several world leaders who tested positive for the coronavirus this year, including US President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

British Johnson, who was admitted to intensive care during his personal battle with Covid in April, said via Twitter that he is sorry to hear Macron tested positive for Covid and wished him a speedy recovery.

The UK’s post-Brexit transition period ends on December 31, and there is pressure on talks between the UK and the EU to reach a trade deal by then.

Both the EU and the UK Parliament would have to ratify an agreement if there is an agreement.

One of the sticking points between the two sides was fishing rights, with the French Macron pushing for guaranteed access to British fishing waters. The UK has now insisted that a new fisheries agreement must be based on the understanding that “British fishing grounds are primarily for British boats”.

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