Portuguese PM Antonio Costa tests negative for Covid-19 after lunch with France's Macron

Macron (left) welcomes Costa for a working lunch at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris on Dec 16, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

LISBON (REUTERS) - Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa has tested negative for the coronavirus but will stay in self-isolation, his office said on Thursday (Dec 17), a day after he met French President Emmanuel Macron, who is infected.

"I feel good and without any symptoms," Costa, 59, wrote on Twitter shortly after he cancelled all of his in-person public activities, including an official trip to Sao Tome and Principe and Guinea Bissau between Dec 18 and Dec 20.

Costa's office said he would work remotely and wait for the health authority to decide how long he will have to stay home.

Macron and Costa had a working lunch at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday to discuss priorities of Portugal's upcoming European Council presidency, which starts next month.

Earlier on Thursday, Macron's office said he had tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting a track and trace effort across Europe, following meetings between the French leader and EU heads of government in recent days, including Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who tested negative.

Reuters images showed Macron warmly welcoming Costa to the palace, with both wearing face masks as they stood shoulder to shoulder outside the building's entrance.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.