Spanish PM Sanchez tests negative after seeing Macron

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez tests negative after seeing Macron

In this file photo taken on December 14, 2020 French President Emmanuel Macron (R) welcomes Spanish Prime minister Pedro Sanchez prior to a meeting marking the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at the Elysee palace in Paris. Credit: AFP.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will stay in quarantine despite testing negative for Covid-19 after he met with French President Emmanuel Macron, who has the virus, Sanchez's office said Thursday.

Sanchez will remain isolated and under medical surveillance until December 24 and will be tested again at that point, a statement said.

He was the only member of a Spanish delegation to come into close contact with Macron during a visit to Paris on Monday, it added.

Macron tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, and will be self-isolating for the next week.

Sanchez cancelled all items on his agenda for the coming days, starting with a ceremony Thursday at which King Felipe is to open an exhibition.

The Socialist leader attended several events in Paris to mark the 60th anniversary of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, including a lunch with Macron.

Last March, Sanchez' wife and several government ministers contracted the virus during a strict lockdown to fight the pandemic.

Spain has been one of the countries in Europe hardest hit by the disease, with an official toll of more than 48,000 dead from 1.7 million cases.