The European Parliament told employees to stay home if they have traveled to areas of Italy with multiple reports of coronavirus infections, according to an internal email sent to all staff Monday night.
Director General for Personnel Kristian Knudsen warned staff to stay home in “self-isolation” if they had traveled within the past 14 days to the Italian regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna or Veneto, as well as China (mainland China, Hong Kong or Macao), Singapore or South Korea.
The northern region of Lombardy, which includes Milan, has reported the vast majority of the more than 200 coronavirus cases in Italy.
“If you are well and you had no (suspected) contact with a person infected with the novel Corona virus, COVID-19,” staff should not come to the European Parliament, nor its medical service, according to the email from Knudsen, seen by POLITICO.
Instead, the DG asked those staff members to find a way to work from home.
“If your job does not enable you to do teleworking, please could you contact your Head of Unit by telephone or email to agree on possible tasks to do from home,” Knudsen wrote.
Staff were instructed to check their temperature twice a day. If they do not show symptoms after two weeks, they should return to work “after having received a green light from your GP.”
The European Commission took a different approach Monday. Employees who’ve traveled to China, Hong Kong or Macao were instructed to work from home. The Commission made it clear though that this does not apply to other countries — including Italy.