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Coronavirus carrier at EU trade council triggers top-level quarantines

It was unclear whether other trade ministers were going into quarantine | Pool photo by Sean Gallup/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus carrier at EU trade council triggers top-level quarantines

EU trade chief Dombrovskis and German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier have put themselves in quarantine.

By

9/24/20, 5:08 PM CET

Updated 9/24/20, 7:08 PM CET

An Irish staffer with coronavirus at Monday’s informal meeting of trade ministers in Berlin has forced EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis and German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier to put themselves in quarantine.

Altmaier, who chaired Monday’s meeting, wrote on Twitter that “he had learned that a member on an EU minister’s staff attending the Council of Trade Ministers in Berlin tested positive for corona,” and added he had placed himself in quarantine as a precaution.

Dombrovskis, the European Commission’s executive vice president and acting trade commissioner, also announced on Wednesday that he had put himself into quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus. That contact was in the Irish delegation at the informal trade council, two EU officials confirmed.

Altmaier is the second top German minister to go into self-isolation this week, as Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also said on Wednesday he would self-isolate because a member of his security staff tested positive.

Irish Trade Minister Leo Varadkar was at Monday’s trade council, is also now in self-isolation.

EU trade officials said it was unclear whether other trade ministers were going into quarantine.

On Monday,

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