November 22nd 2021
PARIS — French Prime Minister Jean Castex tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday hours after meeting Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who has now had to self-isolate.
Earlier in the day, it was announced that Castex was self-isolating after his 11-year-old daughter tested positive. His office later confirmed to AFP that the prime minister had also had a positive test, meaning he will have to self-isolate for 10 days. According to BFMTV, he has experienced no symptoms.
Castex has of late been seen breaking social distancing recommendations.
Last Tuesday, he was filmed shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries with guests while unmasked at an indoor event at the Interior Ministry. Asked about it at his weekly press conference, government spokesperson Gabriel Attal defended the prime minister, saying, “We are all human … There can be, from time to time, a moment of inattention.”
On Monday morning, before being told to self-isolate, Castex met with De Croo in Brussels. On Monday night, RTBF reported that De Croo and four other Belgian ministers were self-isolating following that meeting.
Castex’s self-isolation meant a last-minute change of plans for an emergency meeting on recent turmoil on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, where protests against vaccination requirements led to riots over the weekend. The meeting was held by video conference instead.