French Prime Minister Jean Castex tests positive for Covid-19 hours after Belgium visit

Belgian counterpart Alexander de Croo and four other ministers have gone into quarantine after result

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has tested positive for Covid-19, hours after returning from a visit to Belgium.

The result comes as France reports a nationwide resurgence of infections, according to his office.

His Belgian counterpart Alexander de Croo and four other ministers had to immediately go into quarantine after they met Mr Castex for talks in Brussels earlier on Monday.

Mr Castex will adapt his schedule over the coming 10 days to continue his activities in isolation, his office said.

Officials at the prime minister’s headquarters did not comment on whether he had any symptoms.

One of Mr Castex’s daughters had tested positive on Monday after her father returned from a meeting with Mr de Croo.

Mr Castex then took two tests that were both positive, his office said.

Mr de Croo’s office said he will be tested on Wednesday and will self-isolate while awaiting the result, as will the foreign affairs, defence, justice and home ministers.

“Since Prime Minister de Croo received the French prime minister for security talks, he has immediately interrupted his activities,” his office said.

While 75 per cent of France’s population is vaccinated, the number of coronavirus infections has risen quickly in recent weeks.

Hospital admissions and deaths linked to the virus are also rising in France, although they remain far well below the crisis levels of earlier surges.

French President Emmanuel Macron contracted Covid-19 last December, while other government ministers have also had the virus.

Updated: November 23rd 2021, 6:59 AM