EU Chief self-isolates as virus makes its mark at a summit

By Canadian Press	
	 		EU chief self-isolates as virus makes its mark at a summit

By Canadian Press EU chief self-isolates as virus makes its mark at a summit

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Before her abrupt departure, von der Leyen met with Czech PM Andrej Babiš and Portuguese PM Antonio Costa.

In proposing a reduction of at least 55%, compared with the current target of a 40% reduction by 2030, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen predicted in September that the new target would be "too much for some and not enough for others".

"I have just been informed that a member of my front office has tested positive to COVID-19 this morning", she tweeted on Thursday afternoon.

Through her Twitter account, the German politician said that an initial test ruled out her infection, but she must comply with the quarantine and undergo further medical tests. "However, as a precaution I am immediately leaving the European Council to go into self-isolation".

The map was issued after European Union member states decided on Tuesday to coordinate their approach to travel restrictions on other countries in response to COVID-19 outbreaks.

A spokesperson for the European Council President Charles Michel today said the United Kingdom is being invited to continue talks beyond the current deadline in a bid to reach a deal before the Brexit transition period ends on December 31st.

Brexit and climate change were two of the key topics for discussion at the summit in the Belgian capital, as well as the EU's next steps on tackling the virus sweeping the continent. "Any agreement on our future relationship would have to be based on our mandate, in particular, when it comes to the level playing field, fisheries and governance", Michel said, adding the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier was fully trusted to continue the negotiation. "I will also present to the leaders".

Speaking about the pandemic before the start of the two-day summit, she said the situation in Europe was "more worrisome", but European Union leaders had agreed on a "traffic light" to help member states identify whether to require testing or quarantine for non-essential European Union travelers such as tourists.

Brussels is now considered Belgium's coronavirus hotspot.

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