On Thursday, the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, 69, announced he had tested positive for the virus the night before, and said he was also isolating at home.
News that both negotiators are now home-bound amid the coronavirus pandemic brings uncertainty to the negotiation agenda, which had started with a first round of negotiations on 5 March.
The second round of talks, scheduled to take place in London this week were cancelled ahead of both officials’ move into self-isolation as the coronavirus continued to spread throughout Europe.
In the joint statement, issued on 12 March, both sides said they were “currently exploring alternative ways to continue discussions, including, if possible, the use of video conferences.”
The EU Commission told the Belga news agency that the Barnier’s Covid-19-positive status would change “almost nothing” to the negotiating calendar, with this team working from home and both sides busy analysing each other’s proposals.