Thursday, 10 September 2020
Georges-Louis Bouchez, the president of the liberal Walloon MR party, will not go into quarantine despite having been in government negotiations with royal appointee Egbert Lachaert, who tested positive for the coronavirus.
After Lachaert, one of two appointees by the king to lead negotiations for a new federal government, tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, all other party presidents and their advisors were tested, as they had all been in close contact with him during formation talks.
Even though all tests came back negative, the government negotiators announced that, with the virus incubation period in mind, they would quarantine. Bouchez, however, announced via Twitter that the quarantine rule does not apply to him as he is a “low-risk contact.”
La quarantaine n’est applicable qu’aux personnes qui ont été à – de 1m50 pendant plus de 15 min de la personne infectée. 9 jours se calculent à partir du close contact. Le 18/09 vise les réunions de préformation mais pas le délai individuel qui varie selon le contact rapproché.
— Georges-L BOUCHEZ (@GLBouchez) September 9, 2020
“The quarantine is only applicable to people who have been within 1.5 m of the infected person for more than 15 minutes,” he said, adding that it “does not apply to [him]” in a video message.
According to Salma Haouach, MR’s press officer, Bouchez will continue to follow the hygiene rules and exercise extra caution.
All party presidents will be tested a second time after nine days, and will only leave their quarantine if that test is also negative.
No physical meetings on the government formation will take place before 18 September.
The Brussels Times