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President Macron continues Covid isolation in Versailles

Updates have been given on the President’s health and how he will be cared for while isolating for the next seven days

President Macron is continuing his isolation in an official residence in Versailles after testing positive for Covid-19 yesterday morning (December 17).

He left the Elysée palace in central Paris last night for La Lanterne, a hunting lodge in Versailles where “he can both isolate and continue to work,” the Elysée told news source AFP

The President's wife Brigitte Macron has tested negative for the virus and has stayed at the Elysée palace.

President has light symptoms

The President is suffering from a cough, fever and significant fatigue, and will need to isolate for a minimum of seven days, including December 24 next week. 

During a video conference on development aid last night, government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said the President was “visibly fatigued, but remained totally engaged”.


Contract tracing underway

Mr Attal also told news source BFMTV last night that contract tracing had been organised as soon as the President tested positive on Thursday morning. This week the President is known to have held a lunch and a dinner in the Elysée, both of which had more than ten people in attendance – more than the maximum of six recommended by authorities.

Mr Attal said: “I know that people will want answers, but when you are a member of the government during a crisis, you go to a number of very important meetings. So, it can happen that you need to hold meetings over lunch or dinner while eating. 

“But this is very far from a convivial dinner. There were two metres of distance [between guests], masks were worn before and after each course, and people spoke using microphones.”

President Macron also travelled to Brussels on Thursday and Friday last week to attend a European summit. Although he may have caught the virus there, it is thought that he was not contagious at that point.

Health updates will be given

Mr Attal also said that people in France would be kept updated about the President’s health. “Transparency will be the rule,” he said.

Military medical organisation le Service Santé des Armées will be monitoring the President’s health around the clock and, if necessary, he could be transferred to one of two military hospitals near Paris.

Pierre-René Lemas, former secretary-general of the Elysée told BFMTV that it is not unusual for presidents to fall ill while in power. “It was the case for Chirac, and it happened twice to Sarkozy,” he said.

But the public has not always been kept informed. “It’s only since the fifth republic that we speak about transparency,” Mr Lemas said. “President De Gaulle had a prostate problem and we found out at the last minute, and I won’t even talk about President Mitterand.”

After President Mitterand died, his former doctor wrote a book revealing that he had published false health reports, which hid the fact that Mitterand had cancer throughout his entire presidency. He eventually died from the disease.

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