Wednesday, 28 October, 2020

Finnish prime minister leaves European Union summit to take coronavirus test

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels FILE- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels Oct. 15 2020
Deanna Wagner | 18 October, 2020, 18:38

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin left an European Union summit on Friday to self-isolate as a precaution after attending a meeting this week with a Finnish MP who has since tested positive for Covid-19, the government said.

She announced on Twitter that she had asked Stefan Lofven to represent Finland for the rest of the meeting.

Marin joins other EU leaders who have been forced to enter self-isolation, including Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Ms Marin had attended a meeting on Wednesday at the Finnish parliament together with politician Tom Packalen who later tested positive for coronavirus and had mild flu symptoms.

Marin gave a speech at the summit supporting videoconferences for meeting between European Union leaders, saying there should be a higher threshold for holding in-person meetings during the pandemic. She went into isolation October 5 after a meeting in Portugal that included someone who later tested positive.

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However, the Patriots resumed their activities, opening their facilities Saturday for a walkthrough ahead of Sunday's game . Defensive tackle Byron Cowart was the only Patriots player now still on the list after testing positive on October 11.

The EU's 27 nations fought COVID-19 with different, sometimes contrasting measures, in the first months of the pandemic. Many have complained about the lack of privacy attached to video calls and welcomed restarting in-person meeting in July, when leaders agreed on the next long-term budget for the bloc during a marathon summit.

A photoshoot involving Finland's Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, has sparked a debate about sexism in the country. "This meeting should have been held as a video conference", the Dane told reporters when she arrived in Brussels for the talks. "There are some discussions where one needs to be brought a little closer to each other".

"I think it speaks of women being exhausted and fed up with being restricted and told how to act and look and behave, and being judged by their looks -if you're young and attractive, then you can't be taken seriously", Paalosalo-Jussinmäki said.

Her departure was "a precautionary measure" after it turned out that a fellow Finnish lawmaker, who she had previously been in contact with, had tested positive for COVID-19.