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Coveney restricting movements after attending same meeting as positive minister in Luxembourg

Coveney tested negative for Covid-19 earlier this week and plans to be tested again next week.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN Affairs Simon Coveney is restricting his movements to essential work after attending the same meeting as an Austrian minister earlier this week who has since tested positive for Covid-19.  

Alexander Schallenberg, Austria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, tested positive for Covid-19 after attending a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on Monday, which Coveney also attended.

The two ministers also held a bilateral meeting together after the roundtable meeting of the Council.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for Coveney said that he has been “restricting his movements to essential work and will continue that”.

Coveney tested negative for Covid-19 earlier this week after returning to Ireland, and plans to be tested again next week.

“He’s had a consultation with a senior public health doctor today and because of the safeguards and distancing that was in place he is not considered a close contact of the Austrian Minister,” the spokesperson said.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council met on Monday to discuss developments in Belarus and Russia, engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean, and EU-facilitated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo.

Ahead of the meeting, Coveney said that he welcomed “the European Council’s agreement on targeted sanctions against those in Belarus responsible for the falsification of the August election result and for the use of violence against peaceful protesters”.

The meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council was chaired by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.

Ministers for Foreign Affairs from EU member states were in attendance at the roundtable-style meeting of the council.

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Images from the event show that most, but not all, were wearing masks.

After the roundtable meeting, Coveney and Schallenberg held a bilateral meeting in the Irish delegation rooms. 

Both Schallenberg and Belgium’s foreign affairs minister, Sophie Wilmes, have tested positive for Covid-19 following the roundtable meeting on Monday.

Wilmes tweeted earlier today that she had tested positive, and that she thought she had been infected from within her family circle.

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