European Parliament suspends visits as precaution against coronavirus

BRUSSELS, March 2 (Reuters) - The European Parliament will limit access to visitors for three weeks, its president said on Monday, as part of precautionary measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Parliamentary activity will continue, but seminars, events and other activities involving external visitors will be frozen, David Sassoli told a news conference.

He said measures adopted by the EU Parliament were tougher than other EU institutions because the EU assembly receives some 700,000 visitors a year, far more than other EU bodies.

The Parliament operates from its Brussels seat for most of the year and holds a plenary sitting once a month in Strasbourg, France.

Last week, the Parliament advised its staff to “stay home in self-isolation” if they had travelled in the previous 14 days to areas affected by coronavirus outbreaks, including Northern Italian regions, China, Singapore, and South Korea. (Reporting by Jakub Riha, Editing by William Maclean)