French PM tests negative for COVID after contact at Tour de France

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - Stage 8 - Cazeres-sur-Garonne to Loudenvielle - France - September 5, 2020. French Prime Minister Jean Castex and race director Christian Prudhomme applaud the riders. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French Prime Minister Jean Castex has tested negative for COVID-19, his office said on Tuesday, after he came into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Castex took the test after he shared a car last weekend with the director of the Tour de France cycle race, who has since tested positive for the virus.

Castex followed the route of the Tour de France on Saturday and spent time in a car following the race with tour director Christian Prudhomme. Tour organisers said on Tuesday that Prudhomme had tested positive.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin will also undergo a test after spending time with Castex earlier on Tuesday.

Posting on his Twitter account, Castex said since he had been in contact with an infected person, he would follow the protocol set out by the government.

French official guidance in such cases is for people to self-isolate, stay away from their workplace, and get tested.

But Castex said: “While scrupulously respecting health guidelines, I will carry out my duties in full.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau, Julien Pretot and Benoit Tessier; Writing by Christian Lowe, Editing by William Maclean and Angus MacSwan