The president of an EU institution announced Wednesday he would self-quarantine against coronavirus after a labor union complained he was attending work despite having spent the weekend in Italy.
Luca Jahier, head of the European Economic and Social Committee, said he had put himself into quarantine “as a precautionary measure” after returning from Turin in northern Italy on Monday evening.
Jahier had on Tuesday worked at the EESC premises on Rue Belliard, prompting a labor union to complain in an email to EESC employees on Wednesday morning.
The Italian government on Monday night put the country on lockdown in a bid to prevent further spread of the virus. As of Wednesday evening, a total of 12,462 cases and 827 deaths had been reported in the country.
The union, Unité Syndicale, wrote in its email, seen by POLITICO, that Jahier was conducting “business as usual” while other EU institutions were telling employees coming from risk zones including Italy to stay home. Unité Syndicale referenced European Parliament President David Sassolis decision to work from home for 14 days after he traveled to Italy.
“We received several complaints from colleagues who are working with the president or in the corridors next to him,” said Stavros Giaprakis from Unité Syndicale.
Jahiers spokesperson Daniela Vincenti said Wednesday that the president had flown from Turin to Brussels on Monday evening “before Prime Minister Conte extended emergency measures nationwide later that night.”
“In a context where the situation is evolving day by day and taking into account the fact that European institutions are adopting different approaches, he called for a meeting with health practitioners on Tuesday morning to evaluate the situation,” she said.
“He then took the decision to auto-quarantine himself asRead More – Source