Emmanuel Macron

France’s Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for Covid-19, forcing several European leaders to self-isolate after coming into contact with him.

The 42-year-old president was tested after developing symptoms and will now self-isolate for seven days, the Elysée Palace said in a statement.

He “is still in charge” of running the country and will work remotely.

European Council chief Charles Michel and Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez are among the leaders having to self-isolate.

France this week ended a six-week national lockdown, replacing the measure with a curfew to help deal with soaring cases.

There have been nearly 2.5 million confirmed cases in the country since the epidemic began, with more than 59,400 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

France plans to start rolling out its coronavirus vaccination programme from 27 December.

Who else needs to self-isolate?

“The President of the Republic has been diagnosed positive for Covid-19 today,” the Elysée said on Thursday morning. The diagnosis was made following a “test performed at the onset of the first symptoms”, the statement added.

It is not yet known how Mr Macron caught the virus but his office said it was identifying any close contacts he had made in recent days.

These include Prime Minister Jean Castex, 55, and parliamentary speaker Richard Ferrand, 58, who are both self-isolating, their offices confirmed.

Mr Castex, who is not showing any symptoms and has tested negative, was due to introduce the government’s Covid vaccination policy in the Senate on Thursday – now Health Minister Olivier Véran is doing it instead.

The French president’s wife Brigitte Macron, who is 67, is also self-isolating but has no symptoms.