French Prime Minister Jean Casteks has contracted COVID-19, the Prime Minister’s office said on Monday evening. Last week, his 11-year-old daughter tested positive for coronavirus.
According to sources in his entourage, quoted by France Bleu, Jean Casteks has “mild symptoms of the disease”, in particular, a cough. The head of government was forced to isolate himself and held a meeting scheduled for Monday with elected officials of Guadeloupe via videoconference. His weekly talk with President Emmanuel Macron will take place by phone on Tuesday. In the National Assembly on 23 November he will be represented by the Minister of National Education of the country, Jean-Michel Blanquer.
On Monday evening, four members of the French government who have been in close contact with the prime minister in recent days – Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, Justice Minister Eric Dupont-Moretti, French Defense Minister Florence Parley and Secretary of State for European Affairs Clement Bonet, refused to travel to Brussels. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who previously hosted Jean Castex in Brussels, also went into self-isolation.
As noted by the French media, for the fourth time during the pandemic, Casteks was forced to isolate itself: the first time it happened in September 2020 during the Tour de France after he was driving in a car with the infected competition director Christian Prudhomme, the second time after dinner with Emmanuel Macron last December, then June 2021, after his wife contracted COVID-19. Earlier, the French prime minister, who received two doses of the vaccine, has never been positive for coronavirus.