The European Parliament has instructed susceptible personnel with a pre-existing health condition to work from house on account of increased individual risk associated to the outbreak of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, according to sources and an email examined by TechCrunch.
The European Commission confirmed its very first cases of coronavirus last week, after a staffer at the European Defence Agency and another at the Council of the European Union checked favorable. The previous had actually just recently returned from Northern Italy, while the latter is reported to have picked up the virus through local transmission in Belgium.
In the email sent out to European Parliament staff yesterday its administrative body gives permission for all personnel with “known pre-existing diseases to stay home and look for teleworking”.
Parliament personnel who have actually traveled to a high threat zone for the spread of the infection– noted in the e-mail as: China, Hong Kong, Macau, South-Korea, Singapore, Iran, Japan and areas of Northern Italy– had previously been advised to self isolate for 14 days after returning from a trip.
The email consists of some smaller “regional clusters”– particularly, in France: the Departments of Oise, Haute-Savoie, Morbihan and Haut-Rhin; and in Germany: Landkreis Heinsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia– as active enough to also warrant self isolation.
” If during the last 14 days you have actually remained in among the locations or clusters that have actually been included, you need to stay at house for 14 days following your return,” is the current guideline to parliament personnel. “That also applies if you may already have actually been back in the workplace after your return.”
Those staff who have been teleworking for 14 days currently after a journey are informed they can return to the office– “offered that you have absolutely no symptoms and none of your family members has been contaminated”.
The email likewise repeats guidance that personnel who feel ill or unhealthy should self isolate at home– advising those who may have some flu-like signs but do not feel too unhealthy to work to “request teleworking”.
Activities not connected to core functions of the parliament were also cancelled for three weeks as of March 3, with visitor access from affected regions also locked down.
In a different coronavirus-related email sent to staff of the European Commission yesterday, commissioner Johannes Hahn reiterates the value of workers taking preventive measures– such as high requirements of hand hygiene, changing missions with video-conference and “say goodbye to handshaking or kissing”.
” I encourage you to follow these steps as they help to secure all of us,” he writes. “I wish to remember our standard concept that staff who have symptoms ought to remain at house.”
Per this e-mail, Commission personnel in Italy are continuing to be provided teleworking alternatives with what Hahn refers to as “the required versatility in those remarkable circumstances in line with the host countries’ steps”.
While personnel returning from journeys to impacted regions of Northern Italy are “welcomed to telework for 14 days on their return”. The e-mail notes that this decree does not use retroactively– and staff who returned to work last week from one of the impacted areas are particularly informed they can come to work.
” You are welcomed to monitor your health status until 14 days after you returned. If you establish any symptoms, you must stay at house,” is the alternative tip.
The memo to Commission staff likewise makes reference to a Commission staffer who evaluated positive recently.
” Let me highlight that required precautionary measures were currently taken last week to protect the associate and others — and I can reassure you that we will continue doing so. As we are all participating in public life, no one can exclude that more associates might be impacted in the future. I invite you all to deal with these scenarios with care and comprehension,” Hahn writes.
The email likewise highlights a two-day school closure at an unnamed European school which was waiting for test outcomes of one kid. Because case the test was unfavorable, and the school will reopen this week, but Hahn adds: “Naturally, flexible working arrangements will be facilitated in such cases.”
We have actually connected to the European Commission with additional questions on its technique to dealing with COVID-19– consisting of asking whether it has any contingency prepares to expand teleworking to additional personnel.