Wednesday 10/28/20

Marin rushes back from EU summit as Covid-19 'precautionary' measure

Finnish MP Tom Packalen of the True Finns party (Perussuomalaiset) said on Friday that he had tested positive. His contacts were being traced.

15 October 2020, Finland, Helsinki: Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin arrives at the Estate House to attend a government meeting to discuss new measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto/dpa.
Finnish prime minister arrives at a government meeting to discuss new coronavirus measures. Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto/dpa.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has left the EU summit in Brussels as "a precautionary measure" due to possible exposure to the coronavirus, the Finnish government said.

Marin earlier this week was in the Finnish parliament and in the vicinity of a lawmaker who has tested positive for the virus.

Finnish lawmaker Tom Packalen of the True Finns Party (Perussuomalaiset) - member of the Parliament's Grand Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee - said on Friday he had tested positive. Tracing of his contacts were ongoing.

Swedish PM to represent Finland

Marin wrote on Twitter that she had asked Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to represent Finland for the remainder of the summit that opened on Thursday.

On her return to Finland, Marin was to undergo a Covid-19 test and self-isolate at her official residence in Kesäranta.

Marin, 34, has self-isolated on several occasions this year but so far her tests for the virus have come back negative.

Second to leave the summit

Marin was the second politician to leave the summit early after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen went into quarantine on Thursday briefly after arriving.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was prevented from attending entirely as he also went into coronavirus quarantine.

A previous summit had to be postponed when European Council President Charles Michel self-isolated after a security staff tested positive.

EU leaders arrived in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the status of fraught post-Brexit negotiations with Britain, the second wave of coronavirus and the bloc's contentious climate targets. Talks were to expected to conclude on Friday evening.