EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan resigns over "Covid breach"

# 11:17
27 August 2020

EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan has resigned after the Irish government accused him of breaching Covid-19 guidelines, APA reports citing BBC News.

Mr. Hogan attended a golf dinner with more than 80 people in County Galway on 19 August.

He was also criticised for not complying with quarantine rules when he arrived in Ireland from Brussels.

Mr. Hogan said he did not break any law but he "should have been more rigorous" in adherence to the COVID guidelines.

In a resignation statement, the outgoing commissioner said he regretted his trip to Ireland had "caused such concern, unease and upset".

"I reiterate my heartfelt apology to the Irish people for the mistakes I made during my visit," he added.

On Tuesday, Mr. Hogan provided details to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, about his time in Ireland leading up to his attendance at the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) Golf Society event.

After arriving in the Republic of Ireland on 31 July, Mr. Hogan said he traveled to his temporary residence in Kildare and tested negative for Covid-19 on 5 August during a hospital visit.

He had told Irish state broadcaster he had not breached regulations and argued the test result meant he was "not under any subsequent legal requirement to self-isolate or quarantine".

Ireland's Department of Health has said a person is required to restrict their movements for 14 days if they arrive into Ireland from a country not on the green list.

It said the guidance does not state that a negative Covid-19 test shortens the 14-days requirement.