Borrell and Lenarcic quarantined after trip to Ethiopia

Josep Borrell Fontelles (C), EU High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission and Janez Lenarčič (R), EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, greet the communities during a visit to the Qoloji Camp for Internally Displaced People, Ethiopia, on 9 October 2020. [Europe by Satellite]

The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, and the bloc’s commissioner for humanitarian aid, Janez Lenarcic, said Tuesday (13 October) that they were quarantining after coming into contact with people who tested positive for coronavirus during a trip to Ethiopia last week.

“I was informed this afternoon that a member of the delegation travelling with me and @JanezLenarcic to Ethiopia last week has tested positive for coronavirus,” the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Borrel, tweeted.

“I tested negative upon my return on Sunday. I am self-isolating in accordance with rules and will wait to do second test.”

Lenarcic, for his part, wrote on Twitter that he had been informed “that a member of my team, who was not on a mission to Ethiopia end of last week, has tested #COVID19 positive.

“In line with public health protocols I am self-isolating and working from home pending the 2nd test. I have no symptoms and feel well. Stay safe!”

Belgium has ordered anyone coming into contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19 to self-isolate for a period of seven days.

So far, only one of the 27 members of the EU Commission, Bulgaria’s Mariya Gabriel, has tested positive for the virus.

She went into quarantine after coming into contact with a member of her team who was ill and her own test last Saturday came up positive.

The EU Commission is headquartered in Brussels, one of the European cities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, after Madrid and Paris.

Commission president Ursula von der Leyen briefly self-isolated from 5 October after coming into contact with someone who tested positive during a meeting in Portugal. Von der Leyen tested negative for the virus.

Von der Leyen in self-isolation for 24 hours

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is in self-isolation, after she was informed having been in contact with a person who tested COVID-19 positive.

Last month, European Council president Charles Michel self-isolated for a week after a member of his team tested positive, which delayed the last EU summit by a week.

Charles Michel delays summit to 1-2 October after going into quarantine

European Council President Charles Michel postponed a summit of European Union leaders on Thursday and Friday (24-25 October) until the start of October after going into coronavirus quarantine due to contact with an infected security guard, his spokesman said.

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