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Brussels government also goes into quarantine

Brussels Finance Minister Sven Gatz tested positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms. © Belga

Nearly all members of Brussels’ regional government will go into quarantine after one minister tested positive for Covid-19, marking the second time in one day that a regional government in Belgium is forced to go into self-isolation.

Brussels’ regional finance minister, Sven Gatz, tested positive for the virus, according to reports on Wednesday, triggering self-isolation measures for all other officials with whom he has recently been in contact.

All members of the regional cabinet will go into self-isolation following news of Gatz’s results, including Minister-President Rudi Vervoort who on Wednesday announced a string of stricter measures to fight a resurgence of the virus in the capital.

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Only Health Minister Alain Maron and Housing and Equality State Secretary Nawal Ben Hamou are so far exempted from quarantine because they were not in contact with Gatz, a spokesperson for Regional Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt told The Brussels Times.

The ministers in quarantine have suspended all official activities and will be tested for the virus, Gatz spokesperson Eva Vanhengel told the Belgan news agency, adding that Gatz was experiencing light symptoms of the virus.

While Maron was in Berlin at the time the rest of the cabinet met Gatz, he held a press conference alongside Vervoort on Wednesday, following a meeting with several other regional officials as well as with the 19 mayors of Brussels.

A spokesperson for Maron, who in April said he suspected having caught the virus, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The news comes just hours after the Walloon government also went into quarantine following news that the tourism minister for the French-speaking region also tested positive.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times