Germany imposes local lockdown after coronavirus outbreak at meatpacking company

A tattoo reading 'future is vegan' is seen on the arm of a protester, outside the Tönnies meat factory, Germany June 20, source: Reuters
A tattoo reading 'future is vegan' is seen on the arm of a protester, outside the Tönnies meat factory, Germany June 20, source: Reuters

The premier of the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said on Tuesday he was putting the Gütersloh area back into lockdown until June 30 after a coronavirus outbreak at a meatpacking factory.

More than 1,500 workers at the Tönnies meat processing plant in Gütersloh tested positive for the coronavirus, plus some of their family members, state premier Armin Laschet said.

Even though its management of the coronavirus crisis has been among the most successful in Europe, Germany has seen repeated outbreaks in slaughterhouses and meatpacking factories.

With about 360,000 residents, Gütersloh is the first area in Germany to go back into lockdown after the authorities began gradually lifting restrictive measures at the end of April.

Museums, galleries, cinemas, sports halls, gyms and swimming pools in Guetersloh would be closed, and picnics and barbecues prohibited.

Globally, there have been many outbreaks at slaughterhouses and places where animals are kept together cramped in small areas, like mink farms in Holland.

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