Three members of Europe’s College of Commissioners went into self-isolation on Sunday, after meeting with the Portuguese Finance Minister Joao Leao in Lisbon who later tested positive for Coronavirus.
On January 15, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and a group of Commissioners had an inaugural meeting with the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU in Lisbon’s Belem Cultural Center to discuss Portugal’s top priorities during its six-month EU presidency.
Official images shared on the Commission’s website showed all participants wearing a face mask, except for some images showing EU’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager, the Cohesion and Reforms Commissioner Elisa Ferreira, Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, as well as the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, being without.
”The Portuguese authorities have informed us that Finance Minister Joao Leao tested positive for COVID-19 after the end of the Presidency visit by the College,” the Commission said in a statement, Politico reported.
Vestager, Ferreira and Dombrovskis “are considered contact persons” and “will respect the Belgian rules for quarantine as of today,” the statement added, while the Commission President Ursula von der Leyen do not “fulfill the criteria to be considered contact persons.”
Leao’s test results were announced more than a day after the meeting with the EU officials. According to a statement by his ministry, the Finance Minister, 46, has so far shown no symptoms and will continue to work from home during his self-isolation period.