In Germany, a Coronavirus outbreak has been confirmed at yet another slaughterhouse. Dozens of employees tested positive.
As many as 92 employees of a slaughterhouse in Dissen, a town in Lower Saxony, are infected with the Coronavirus. All of them and their contact persons were sent into quarantine while the slaughterhouse ceased operations. It is not the only outbreak of this kind. Several slaughterhouses in Germany are affected.
Corona Tests at All Slaughterhouses
One of the main aspects that make it easy for the Coronavirus is the way many workers are accommodated. They are Eastern Europeans who came to Germany for the sole purpose of working at slaughterhouses. Subcontractors hire them in their home countries. Many of them share apartments with several beds per room.
At a slaughterhouse in Coesfeld, located in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, 250 workers had recently tested positive for the Coronavirus. As a result, a big series of Corona tests for thousand of workers at all slaughterhouses in the state commenced.
Labor Minister Heil Alarmed
To the opinion of many, these and other Corona outbreaks highlight the bad working conditions in the meat industry. The Greens demanded a price increase for meat the proceeds of which they want to use for improvements. Other parties criticized the suggestion, saying it would affect the poorest Germans most.
In Berlin, Labor Minister Hubertus Heil announced the conditions would be improved and slaughterhouses monitored more. “Corona painfully points out the abuses that existed before the pandemic”, Heil told the ‘Rheinische Post’ daily. The many infections among workers in the meat industry clearly showed there was a problem.
Foreign Ministers to Discuss Vacations
The problem will even reach Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ‘Corona Cabinet’ today. Corona outbreaks at slaughterhouses are on the agenda. Heil will lay out proposals for ways to improve the situation.
While the issue in Germany’s slaughterhouses persists, normality is coming closer in many other areas, including summer vacations. Today, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is scheduled to hold a video conference with countries known as tourist magnets. They are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.
Travel Ban to Remain in Place Until June
The question how travel restrictions could be eased in order to make tourism possible. At the same time, a coordination regarding rules designed to prevent a further spread of the Coronavirus is on the agenda. Greece is now trying to reach Germans. The country’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told the ‘Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland’, Greece was in the process of returning to normality. Hotels and beaches were being prepared.
In an interview with ZDF TV, Maas said the existing worldwide travel warning would be removed after June 15th, 2020. His intention was to return to country-specific warnings. He also said the main point was not the travel warning itself, but the Corona pandemic that head led to closures of airports and borders and the cancellation of flights.
Belgium, Italy, Greece to Ease Restrictions
Several European countries are easing Corona rules today. Belgium is reopening its schools. In Greece, secondary schools are back in business. In Italy, residents may now move freely in their region again. Many businesses in Italy, including restaurants and bars, are reopening today.
In Berlin, there was a lot of life in the streets, in parks, along rivers and at restaurants this past weekend. Hundreds seemed to enjoy sitting at café and restaurant tables again in the German capital’s Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district. They took rides in inflatable boats on Berlin’s Landwehr Canal.
The number of Coronavirus cases in Germany stood at 176,300 this morning. More than 154,000 individuals who used to be infected are cured now. 7,962 people have died of the disease the Coronavirus causes.
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