How Macron's social distancing slipped

French President Emmanuel Macron was quite strict about social distancing early in the pandemic.

He even replaced handshakes with the Indian "namaste" style greeting, a bow with Spain's king and queen, for example.

But now he has coronavirus, with other world leaders rushing to self isolate themselves as a result -- and from fist-bumps to handshakes, there are signs that recently he had let his guard down.

In one case, just three days before his office announced he had tested positive -- Macron greeted the 70-year-old OECD chief Angel Gurria with a handclasp and a loose embrace.

Both were wearing masks, but Macron broke his government's number one pandemic rule: avoid handshakes, hugs, and kisses; and stick to what the French call "barrier gestures."

On July 12, Macron even tweeted, quote: "You know them, they save lives: barrier gestures are not an option!"

He appears to have also forgotten this when, over the last couple of weeks, he fist-bumped European world leaders at a summit in Brussels. Later he greeted EU chief Charles Michel and Spanish leader Pedro Sanchez in Paris with pats on the back and elbows. Sanchez, Michel, and Gurria are all self-isolating.

Parliamentary sources also say Macron hosted a lunch at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday with about 20 members of parliament and then another dozen lawmakers on Wednesday -- despite his government recommending no more than six guests at dinner tables.

Back in October when he announced a second lockdown, he did say lots of people slip up sometimes with social distancing -- including himself.

"We should all have respected barrier gestures more," he said in his television address.

"Especially with family and friends."