German state back in lockdown after 1,500 cases confirmed at meat factory

A member of a mobile testing unit of the German Army and German Red Cross presses a doorbell to test residents for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), following an outbreak of the disease at Toennies meat factory, where employees remain under lockdown, in Guetersloh, Germany, June 22, 2020. REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler
A member of a mobile testing unit of the German Army and German Red Cross presses a doorbell to test residents for coronavirus following an outbreak at the Toennies meat factory (Picture: Reuters)


A German state is back in lockdown for one week following a surge in coronavirus infections linked to a slaughterhouse.

More than 1,500 people have tested positive for coronavirus at the Toennies slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck and thousands more have been put under a quarantine to try to halt the outbreak.

The governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state said people in Guetersloh and parts of a neighbouring county will now face the same kind of restrictions that existed across Germany during the early stages of the pandemic in March and April.

These include limiting the number of people who can meet in public to those from a single household or two people from separate households, Gov. Armin Laschet said.

Cinemas, fitness studios and bars will also be closed, although restaurants can continue to cater to people from the same household, he added. Previously, the western county had only closed schools and child care centers.

Laschet said the measures will be lifted on June 30 if the situation has improved, but declined to provide specific parameters for how success will be measured.

Before this latest outbreak, Germany had been widely praised for its handling of the pandemic.

Widespread testing, tracing and hospital preparation measures slowed the outbreak and kept Germany’s death toll five times smaller than the UK’s.

Germany has seen 8,899 confirmed virus deaths.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow.

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