Chancellor Angela Merkel was on Sunday in quarantine after meeting a doctor who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, as Germany further tightens rules on public gatherings and plots a taboo-breaking package of support for Europe’s top economy.
News of Merkel’s potential exposure to the virus came minutes after she announced a ban on public gatherings of more than two people and further infection control measures.
“The Chancellor has decided to quarantine herself immediately at home. She will be tested regularly in the coming days… (and) fulfil her official business from home,” spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement.
Merkel had been slated to lead a cabinet meeting Monday to sign off on a 822-billion-euro ($882 billion) slew of measures to support Europe’s top economy through the shutdowns of public life designed to slow the infection’s spread.
The infected doctor visited Merkel on Friday to vaccinate her against the pneumococcus bacteria.
It could take some days to determine whether the 65-year-old chancellor is herself infected as “a test would not yet be fully conclusive,” Seibert said.
Merkel showed no apparent symptoms of ill health in Sunday’s televised press conference.