CORONAVIRUS

Spain’s King Felipe VI enters 10-day coronavirus quarantine after contact tests positive

The Royal Household has not disclosed who the person was, arguing that the monarch’s schedule on Sunday was private

King Felipe VI during an official event in Toledo this month.
King Felipe VI during an official event in Toledo this month.ISMAEL HERRERO / EFE

Spain’s King Felipe VI on Monday began 10 days of quarantine after “a person” he was in close contact with the day before tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a press release from the Royal Household. Sources from La Zarzuela palace, the royal residence, did not disclose who the person was, nor the circumstances of their meeting with the king, arguing that the monarch’s schedule on Sunday was private.

The same sources also did not confirm whether King Felipe would be tested for the coronavirus, saying only that the head of state “will adhere to what is determined by the health regulations.” In March, both King Felipe and Queen Letizia were tested for the coronavirus after attending an event with Equality Minister Irene Montero, who subsequently was confirmed positive for the coronavirus. In that instance, the results of both members of the royal family came back negative. In September, King Felipe’s daughter, Princess Leonor, was also placed in a preventive quarantine after one of her classmates at the Santa María de los Rosales school tested positive for the virus.

Before the king was made aware of the positive diagnosis, he had attended a meeting of the Elcano Royal Institute’s scientific council

All events on the king’s official agenda in the 10-day quarantine period have been canceled. Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and the Infanta Sofía, however, will follow their agendas as scheduled. The only event King Felipe was set to attend this week was the inauguration on Tuesday of the Tourism Innovation Summit 2020, at the Conference and Exhibition Centre of Seville (FIBES).

Before the king was made aware of the positive diagnosis, he had attended a meeting of the Elcano Royal Institute’s scientific council on Monday morning. This gathering, at El Pardo palace, was attended by several members of the institute: president Emilio Lamo de Espinosa; director Charles Powell; programs director Maria Solanas; and experts in Latin America (Susana Malcorra), transatlantic relations (Robin Niblett) and the European Union (Elvire Fabry).

During the meeting, Felipe VI said that the current health crisis “had made more evident than ever the need for effective cooperation and much more intense, close, transparent, open and loyal collaboration between organizations and multilateral organisms, governments and civil society, governments and NGOs, to address the big issues that affect us all.” On Monday afternoon in the Zarzuela palace, the monarch also received General André Lanata, the commander of NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, which is based in Norfolk in the United States.

King Felipe is not the only European royal to have entered quarantine. Since last week, the king and queen of Norway, Harald and Sonja, have been confined after a close contact tested positive for the coronavirus. Prince Charles and Prince William of the United Kingdom, and the prince of Monaco, Alberto II, were also confined after testing positive for the virus themselves.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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