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French PM virus contact: Action to take if happens to you

France’s prime minister is in self-isolation after spending time with the Tour de France director, who has tested positive for coronavirus. We explain the rules in France for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation. 

France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex is now following government protocol after he spent time in the same car as Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, who tested positive for the virus earlier this week. 

We explain what exactly the government protocol is. 

How do you know if you have been in contact with someone? 

The job of getting in touch with contacts of a person who has tested positive for Covid-19 is carried out by the Assurance Maladie services. 

Anyone who tests positive for the virus is asked to make a list of all the people they have been in contact with over the past 48 hours, and these people are then contacted. 

You can find out more about what to do if you test positive for coronavirus here.

If you are close to a person who tests positive for the virus, they may tell you directly themselves. 

What do I do if I have been in contact with someone with the virus?

You should first immediately self-isolate, then safely go get tested and finally keep monitoring your health for signs of the virus, France’s health body Santé Publique France advises. 

The body states that it is necessary to self-isolate to “avoid contaminating your friends and family”. 

“In effect, we can be contagious 48 hours before any symptoms appear or be infected without having any signs of illness,” Santé Publique France states. 

The next step is to get tested at a laboratory detailed by the Assurance Maladie team or which can be found on the website

If I test positive...

That means you have Covid-19 and you should remain in isolation until you are better. More information on this can be found here

You will also be contacted by the Assurance Maladie team who will ask for a list of people you have been in contact with over the past 48 hours. 

If I test negative...

This depends on whether you live with the infected person or not. 

If you do you must remain in isolation until the patient is cured and for 14 days after. You must undertake a second test seven days after the person has recovered. If the test is again negative and you show no symptoms related to the virus (coughing, headache, fever, muscle aches etc), you should remain in self-isolation for a further seven days, but with reduced restrictions (that are outlined below). 

If you do not live with the infected person and your first test is negative, you probably do not have the virus. However, you must undergo a more relaxed 14-day quarantine, following the reduced restrictions outlined below. 

The reduced restrictions are: 

  • Always leave home with a mask and limit your outings as much as possible
  • Do not return to work (except work-from-home) and do not take public transport
  • Do not meet with vulnerable people, such as people aged over 65, people with chronic diseases, obese people or women in their third trimester of pregnancy
  • Continue to apply barrier gestures such as frequent hand washing, using disposable tissues and maintaining a distance of more than one metre from others. 

Read more about coronavirus: 

Tour de France: How close can I get to the race?

Conseil Scientifique calls French quarantine a ‘failure’

Made-in-France Covid vaccine could cost ‘less than €10’

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