European parliament president self-isolating following Italian coronavirus orders

President of the European parliament, David Sassoli, speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Aaron...

President of the European parliament, David Sassoli, speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

European Parliament President David Sassoli has said he will self-isolate at his home in Brussels following the lockdown put in place in Italy to tackle coronavirus.

Sassoli said following the rise in cases of coronavirus in Italy the European Parliament has updated its health measures.

He said: 'Based on the latest situation in Italy, the European Parliament has updated its measures to protect health, while ensuring the legislative and budgetary work and internal bodies of the Parliament can continue to function.

'This will also ensure that parliament is able to vote on the next steps of the deal with COVID-19.

The EU leader urged people to be 'responsible and cautious' as he explained he will be self-isolating in Brussels for the next fortnight.

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He said: 'The new advice introduced by the Italian government extends the protected area to the whole national territory.

'This has important consequences for the behaviour of Italian MEPs. For this reason, I have decided after having been in Italy over the last weekend, as a precaution, to follow the indicated measures and to exercise my function as president from my home in Brussels in compliance with the 14 days indicated by the health protocol.

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'Covid-19 obliges everyone to be responsible and to be cautious. It is a delicate moment for all of us.

'Parliament will continue to work to exercise its duties. No virus can block democracy.'

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