Positive Covid test grinds Dutch Cabinet formation talks to a halt
The formation talks for the next Dutch cabinet was halted on Thursday after "pathfinder" and departing Home Affairs Minister Kasja Ollongren tested positive for the coronavirus, government information service RVD said on Thursday.
As "pathfinders" Ollongren (D66) and Annemarie Jorritsma (VVD) were meeting with the various party leaders to discuss possible coalitions. The pathfinders were set to meet with VVD leader Mark Rutte and D66 leader Sigrid Kaag today, according to NOS. That will not happen. How and when the talks will resume, is currently being investigated.
Ollongren will quarantine at home.
Political reporter Priscilla Slomp told NU.nl that Ollongren was already at the office on Thursday morning when she received her test results. Colleague Jorritsma was also present. It is not yet clear whether the VVD pathfinder will also have to quarantine as a precaution.
Ollongren struggled with her health last year. A surgery to her adrenal gland resulted in her stepping back as Minister of Home Affairs for a period of six months, to give her time and space to recover.