Finland's prime minister Sanna Marin today left an European Union summit to self-isolate after attending a meeting with a Finnish MP who has since come down with Covid-19.
The move came one day after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen left the summit venue in Brussels shortly after talks began because one of her close staffers tested positive for COVID-19.
She had attended a meeting on Wednesday with politician Tom Packalen who has since developed flu symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.
Marin will return to Finland, where she will be tested for the novel coronavirus and then she will self-isolate at the prime minister's residence in Helsinki, the statement said.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen criticized the decision to hold the meeting in person at a time of surging new cases across Europe.
European Union leaders have agreed to hold video conferences nearly on a weekly basis to coordinate national measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, as the continent battles a spike in infections.
Marin left the European Council meeting in Brussels early and has asked Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to represent Finnish interests in her stead.
Marin, 34, would be considered a low-risk patient if she contracted Covid-19.
Her outraged fans were quick to rally behind her, sharing photographs of themselves posing in similar ensembles to the prime minister's.
Marin is already en route back to Helsinki, where she will undergo a coronavirus test.
"It was a little bit surprising", she said, adding: "We've had that sort of photo before, obviously, in a woman's glossy fashion magazine: we have portrayed women in blazers with nothing underneath for years and years, with famous people, and they had never created any response like this".
But the cover story - in which Marin appeared talking about her job requirements, burnout, and the difficulty of balancing work and family life - also prompted an outpouring of support on social media.