Coronavirus: Belgian prince apologises after attending party during lockdown | World News

Belgium’s Prince Joachim has apologised following news that he tested positive for coronavirus after attending a party in Spain during lockdown.

In a press release sent out by his lawyer, the royal said: “I apologise for not respecting all quarantine measures during my trip. In these difficult times, I did not want to offend anyone.

“I deeply regret my actions and will accept the consequences. Joachim from Belgium.”

The 28-year-old prince, who is the nephew of Belgium’s King Philippe and tenth in line to the throne, attended the gathering in the city of Cordoba on 26 May, a spokesperson for the Belgian Royal Palace said.

Prince Joachim of Belgium
Image:
Prince Joachim of Belgium with his father Prince Lorenz and sister Princess Luise Maria

He is now in quarantine with reportedly mild symptoms.

El Pais newspaper said there were 27 people at the party – although local lockdown rules only permit gatherings of up to 15 people.

Spanish police have launched an investigation and those who breached restrictions could be fined between €600 (£540) and €10,000 (£8,997).

A palace spokesperson could not confirm the number of people in attendance at the party.

They said Prince Joachim had travelled to Spain from Belgium on 24 May for an internship and was still there.

All 27 people who attended the party are now in quarantine, Rafaela Valenzuela, the Spanish government’s regional envoy in Cordoba, told a press conference on Saturday.

Ms Valenzuela called the gathering “completely irresponsible” and said it could have caused an outbreak of infections and lead to a stricter lockdown in the country.

“I feel surprised and angry. An incident of this type stands out at a moment of national mourning for so many dead,” she said.

Spain, one of the hardest-hit European countries from the coronavirus outbreak, had some of the strictest lockdown rules in Europe.

Only adults had been allowed to leave home to buy food, medicine and other essential goods, and to walk dogs close to home, under the lockdown imposed on 14 March.

In recent weeks, it has relaxed measures to allow children to venture outside and people to exercise outdoors.

The country has reported 27,125 deaths of people with coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.



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