While US President Donald Trump has contracted COVID-19, yet another president is in now isolation due to the virus, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen now in self-isolation.
The Commission President came into contact with someone who later tested positive for the coronavirus. Although she actually tested negative, she said she was self-isolating as a precaution.
“I’ve been informed that I participated in a meeting last Tuesday attended by a person who yesterday tested positive for Covid-19,” von der Leyen said.
“In accordance with regulations in force, I’m therefore self-isolating until tomorrow morning. I’ve tested negative on Thursday & am tested again today.”
Like the US President who lives at the same location as his office, von der Leyen won’t be far from work while in isolation, as her living quarters are beside her office in Brussels, Belgium.
She is not the first major figure in the EU to be affected by the virus, as two weeks ago, European Council President Charles Michel was in quarantine, and had to postpone am EU leaders summit.
The timing isn’t great, however, as negotiations between the bloc and the UK are at a vital point. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had a telephone meeting with von der Leyen on Saturday. The negotiations over a potential trade deal have to be finalized by the end of this month, if the agreement is to be ratified in time before the UK’s exit on December 31.
London and Brussels had said that a European summit on October 15 would be the latest that an agreement could be reached.