European Commission president forced into isolation over Covid-19 contact

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen says she has placed herself in isolation after being in contact with a person infected with coronavirus.

Monday, 5th October 2020, 12:30 pm
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen arrives for an EU summit in Brussels. Picture: AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, Pool
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen arrives for an EU summit in Brussels. Picture: AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, Pool

In a message posted on Twitter, the head of the EU's executive arm said she took part in a meeting last Tuesday that was attended by "a person who yesterday tested positive".

She said she tested negative for the virus on Thursday and that she will undergo another test later today.

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Ms Von der Leyen, who attended a two-day summit of EU leaders in Brussels late last week, said she will be in quarantine until tomorrow morning.

Her isolation will keep her close to work, however. She has a small living quarters next to her office in the EU headquarters in Brussels.

Two weeks ago, EU Council presiden

t Charles Michel was forced to postpone a summit of EU leaders because he was quarantining.

Ms Von der Leyen took part last Tuesday in a special meeting of Portugal's state council in the coastal town of Cascais, on the outskirts of Lisbon. State councillor Antonio Lobo Xavier tested positive for the virus on Sunday.

The meeting was attended physically by 15 of the 19 members of the president's advisory body.

Portugal's president, prime minister and the parliamentary president and five state councillors were tested on Sunday and were negative, media reported.

More tests are taking place today.

Ms Von der Leyen had spoken to Prime Minister Boris Johnson via video conference on Saturday.

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