Grand duke tests positive for coronavirus

Grand Duke Henri, pictured during national day celebrations in June 2021 Library photo: SIP / Sophie Margue

Grand Duke Henri, pictured during national day celebrations in June 2021 Library photo: SIP / Sophie Margue

Luxembourg’s Grand Duke Henri has tested positive for coronavirus, the palace said on Tuesday, meaning he will have to swear in new cabinet members by video conference on 5 January.

The head of state was supposed to meet with Pierre Gramegna (DP), Dan Kersch (LSAP) and Romain Schneider (LSAP) who are leaving their respective government positions on Wednesday morning.

But the palace on Tuesday afternoon said the grand duke is isolating after testing positive for Sars-CoV-2. A rapid antigen test result was confirmed by a PCR test, a statement said.

The meetings with the ministers have been cancelled and their successors--Yuriko Backes (DP), Georges Engel (LSAP) and Claude Haagen (LSAP)--will be sworn in via video conference by the monarch.

The press release did not comment on the grand duke’s condition.

The grand duke and grand duchess over the new year break met in Crans Montana in the French Alps for a family skiing holiday, pictures posted by Grand Duchess Maria Teresa on social media show.

The grand duke isn’t the only Luxembourg official to test positive for the coronavirus this week. Interior minister Taina Bofferding (LSAP) on Monday went into isolation following a positive rapid antigen test. Last year, justice minister Sam Tanson, energy minister Claude Turmes and housing minister Henri Kox (all Déi Gréng) contracted the virus. 

Prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) spent several days in hospital after becoming infected with the coronavirus in July 2021, following his first coronavirus vaccine jab.