BRUSSELS/MADRID – Belgium’s prince Joachim has tested positive for coronavirus after attending a social gathering in the Spanish city of Cordoba that allegedly broke lockdown rules, the royal family and police have said.
The Belgian Royal Household confirmed to EFE that the prince, the nephew of Belgian King Philippe, traveled aboard a commercial flight on May 24 with permission to enter Spain given his business interests in the country.
He attended a gathering of people and now must quarantine himself in Spain after testing positive for COVID-19.
Belgian media say the 28-year-old has been in a long-term relationship with Spanish national Victoria Ortiz Martinez-Sagrera.
The news emerged after Spanish police said they were investigating whether a party in the Andalusian city that was allegedly attended the Belgian prince breached the lockdown rules.
Some 27 people who attended the party, almost triple the maximum of 10 people allowed as part of Spain’s easing of the lockdown, have been told to self-quarantine.
The attendees could face fines between €600-€10,000, according to the extraordinary laws in force in Spain to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rafaela Valenzuela, the Spanish government’s sub delegate in Cordoba province, was outraged by the news.
“It risks everything that the people of Cordoba have managed to achieve in an exemplary manner during the state of alarm and quarantine,” she said.
Joachim, son of Prince Lorenz, is ninth in line to the Belgian throne.
Spain is one of Europe’s hardest-hit nations by the coronavirus pandemic, where the disease has claimed the lives of more than 27,000 people.
Travel between Spanish provinces has been banned since the government announced the state of alarm in mid-March. All of Spain is now at least the first phase of a four-stage relaxing of the lockdown, which allows people to meet family and friends in groups of no more than 10 people.
Cordoba was in phase two at the time of the party.