Luxembourg prime minister admitted to hospital with Covid – The Guardian

Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, has been admitted to hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 last week, local media have reported, citing a statement from his office.

Multiple outlets said Bettel, 48, attended hospital as a precautionary measure on Sunday morning. Unless doctors advised otherwise, he was due to spend 24 hours under observation while “additional tests and analyses” were carried out. There was no immediate report on his condition.

Bettel tested positive for coronavirus and began self-isolating for 10 days on 27 June, two days after attending a European Council meeting in Brussels with fellow EU national leaders. He received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on 6 May.

He was reported at the time to have mild symptoms, including a high temperature and headache. A council official said no other leaders were considered to be at risk because physical distancing rules were observed and masks were worn.

Luxembourg, which has a population of 630,000, has recorded a rapid rise in Covid infections over the past 10 days, with 136 people testing positive on Saturday, a number last recorded in the country in mid-May.

Luxembourg’s first – and Europe’s third – openly gay prime minister, Bettel played a high-profile role at the summit amid strong criticism of a new law in Hungary banning materials seen as promoting homosexuality or gender change in schools.

Bettel, a former TV presenter who is a strong advocate of gay rights and sometimes travels with his husband to official state visits, was reported to have made a “very emotional” call for EU action over the law, leaving “few dry eyes in the room”.

He said before the summit he intended to challenge Hungary’s hardline prime minister, Viktor Orbán, during the meeting. “To be nationally blamed, to be considered as not normal, to be considered as a danger for young people – it’s not realising that being gay is not a choice,” Bettel said.

“But being intolerant is a choice. I would stay intolerant to intolerance and this would be today my fight … I am going to tell him that what he is doing in his country is intolerant and that being gay is not a choice.”

The EU is pushing Orbán to revoke the law and threatened legal action against Budapest for violating fundamental democratic rules. Bettel recounted his own experience coming to terms with his sexuality.

Conflating homosexuality with paedophilia or pornography was wrong, Bettel said, as was stigmatising people, adding tongue-in-cheek that the fact that he was gay posed no danger to anyone.

“I didn’t get up one morning after having seen an advert on the TV of some brand … That’s not how life works. It’s in me, I didn’t choose it. And to accept oneself is hard enough, so to be stigmatised too – that’s too much.”