Belgian prince tests positive for virus after party in Spain

Princess Maria Laura (L) of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este and Prince Joachim of Belgium | Pool photo by Stephanie Le Cocq/EPA

The royal household did not explain how Prince Joachim was able to get to Spain, apparently in breach of travel rules.

Belgium’s Prince Joachim has tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a private party in Spain, the Belgian royal household confirmed.

The young aristocrat, who is ninth in line to the throne, traveled to Spain last week and attended a party with at least 27 people on Tuesday, Spanish and Belgian media reported.

After returning to Belgium, he tested positive for the virus Friday.

Spanish authorities criticized the gathering in Córdoba, which broke several local social distancing rules, according to El Confidencial. “I feel surprised and indignant, given that at a moment of national mourning for so many dead, an incident of this type stands out,” said Rafaela Valenzuela, a representative of the central government in Córdoba.

Belgian media quoted the Royal Household claiming that the prince had traveled to Spain for professional reasons, although Joachim’s girlfriend, Victoria Ortiz, is from the Andalusian city.

The royal household did not explain how Joachim was allowed to travel to Spain and participate in the gathering, despite Belgian rules currently banning citizens from going abroad and Spanish rules banning foreigners from entering the country, barring some exceptions.

People are also legally required to self quarantine for 14 days after entering Spain.

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