French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating. The 42-year-old took a test ‘as soon as the first symptoms appeared,’ the Elysee Palace said in a brief statement.
Mr Macron will isolate for seven days but plans to continue running the country via video conference.
Frantic contact tracing is now afoot as the president has been centre stage in Brexit negotiations and only on Wednesday, embraced the Prime Minister of Portugal in Paris.
It is not clear whether his 67-year-old wife Brigitte is staying at the Elysee Palace at this time or how Mr Macron proposes to isolate from her.
The French president is one of several heads of state and government around the world who have contracted Covid-19, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump.
France earlier this week eased restrictions imposed to battle the second wave of the coronavirus but infection rates remain high.
There is still a nationwide overnight curfew from 8 pm to halt the spread of the virus while restaurants and cafes as well as theatres and cinemas remain closed.
Over 59,300 people have died in France of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to official figures.
The recording of over 17,000 new cases on Wednesday alone has also generated concern as people shop and travel more intensely ahead of the Christmas holidays.
Like other EU states, France is pinning its hopes on a vaccine to quell the virus and Prime Minister Jean Castex said Wednesday the country will receive around 1.16 million Covid-19 vaccine doses by year end.