As leaders of the world's wealthiest countries prepared to meet for the G-7 summit beginning Friday, the German delegation (led by Chancellor Angela Merkel) experienced a close call as one of the hotels where they were scheduled to say reported a fresh COVID-19 outbreak.
According to Bloomberg, members of Merkel's security detail were already checked in at the Pedn Olva hotel in the host town of St. Ives when local staffers tested positive.
The Chancellor is still expected to attend the G-7 Summit in Cornwall, though Bloomberg's sources wouldn't say where she's expected to stay, or how her delegation responded to the outbreak. A spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street confirmed to the press that Merkel is still expected. The summit kicked off at around 1100 local time in the region along the southwestern coast of England.
Merkel received her first jab a few weeks back, but is not yet fully vaccinated. Given a recent spike in British COVID-19 cases, some Germans questioned whether it would be wise for Merkel to attend in person. PM Johnson is now reportedly mulling delaying the final stage of the pandemic lockdowns.
Germany's public health officials have yet to remove the UK from the country's list of high-risk countries. Any other travelers to the UK must quarantine for two weeks after returning to Germany.
According to Merkel, the biggest "concern" for German public health officials is the "Delta" variant, the new name for the mutant strain first discovered in India that helped to drive that country's recent outbreak. The Delta variant has been found to be circulating in the UK, where public health officials are closely monitoring the situation.
But this is the last G-7 Summit for Merkel before she finally retires after 16 years in power.