France’s Macron leaving isolation after week with the virus

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron no longer has virus symptoms and was leaving isolation yesterday after a week with COVID-19, but is urging the French public to limit their contacts and remain vigilant to keep infections under control during the holidays.

Macron’s office said he is finishing a week of isolation at a presidential retreat in Versailles based on French health protocols, which recommend seven days of confinement following the appearance of symptoms or a positive virus test.

In an apparently self-shot video from the presidential retreat last week, a tired-looking Macron said he was suffering from a dry cough, headaches and fatigue, and said negligence and bad luck led to him getting infected. French authorities lifted virus restrictions for the holidays but infections remain high, and some doctors are urging new lockdown measures.

As families prepared to gather for holiday dinners yesterday, head of the infectious disease department at Paris’ Saint-Antoine Hospital Karine Lacombe warned, “It is a risky evening, the meal is one of the most risky situations for transmitting the virus.”

But after an emotionally trying year, “it is important to take into account the need to have some conviviality, it is a balance between the benefit and the risk,” she said on France-Info radio.

France recorded nearly 15,000 new infections on Wednesday and has seen nearly 62,000 confirmed virus-related deaths overall.

French President Emmanuel Macron is seen on a screen from his presidential residence in Versailles as he attends by video conference the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris. PHOTO: AP