“We can confirm that one NATO staff member working at NATO HQ in Brussels has tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member had come back from a holiday in northern Italy, felt unwell at the end of last week, and was tested due to the onset of fever-like symptoms. The staff member is currently at home in self-isolation. Within minutes of receiving the result, all the immediate work colleagues were informed. They had been working from home at the end of last week and continue to do so. All NATO headquarters staff have also been informed of the confirmed case. NATO continues to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis and to take all necessary measures.
To ensure the safety of staff and visitors, NATO has already taken preventative measures at our headquarters, based on guidance from the World Health Organization, to reduce the risk of the further spread of infection. These include the temporary suspension of certain staff travel, encouraging staff to work from home, and the temporary suspension of group visits to NATO HQ in Brussels. We remain in close contact with the Belgian authorities. NATO has robust business continuity measures and plans in place, ensuring that our essential work continues.”
Earlier, we reported that the Norwegian Armed Forces had decided to end NATO exercise Cold Response. The closure will be conducted in a “controlled matter”.
Cold Response is a Norwegian-led exercise in which NATO-allies and partner nations are invited to participate. More than 15,000 soldiers from the USA, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden are participating in the exercise.
The 15,000 international troops are now likely to return home. The exercise involved 2,000 UK personnel.