EU Commission advises staff not to go to Lombardy over virus

A crowd of Italians wearing protective masks wait outside a closed supermarket in the town of Casalpusterlengo, one of the towns on lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak in Lombardy, in this still image taken from video in Casalpusterlengo, Italy, February 23, 2020. Local Team/REUTERS TV via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission has advised its staff not to travel to the northern Italian region of Lombardy over coronavirus concerns and told officials who went to the most affected areas in northern Italy to stay at home for two weeks.

“We recommend our staff to replace travels to Lombardy with teleconferences,” a spokesman for the EU commission told a news conference in Brussels.

He added that EU staff who have been over the last two weeks to 11 towns in northern Italy which are listed as the most affected by a coronavirus outbreak must stay at home for two weeks.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio and Jakub Riha