Laschet announces lockdown in gutersloh

After the outbreak of the corona virus in a Tonnies slaughterhouse, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Laschet imposed a lockdown on the entire Gutersloh district. This is initially valid until June 30th.

After the Corona outbreak at the meat processor Tonnies, the authorities are now massively restricting public life in the entire Gutersloh district. For the first time in Germany, a circle will be traced back to the protective measures as they would have applied in March because of the corona infection, said NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet.

The measures initially apply until June 30th – also for the neighboring district of Warendorf, but not nationwide. These are precautionary measures to get the situation under control again, Laschet added.

The lockdown means that contact restrictions are now being reintroduced. People from the same family or household or two people are allowed to be in public. In addition, leisure activities in closed rooms are temporarily not permitted, exhibitions and museums must close again. Restaurants and eateries can remain open, but only for people from one household. Grilling in parks is prohibited. But there is no "exit ban" for citizens of the district. If citizens left the district, the restrictions would no longer have any legal effect on them.

In the Gutersloh district it is the "largest infection incident" in Germany to date. Of 7000 employees at Tonnies in Rheda-Wiedenbruck, 1553 tested positive, most of them in the meat cutting department. According to Laschet, there are also some cases from the family environment of those affected, the number of which is not yet known. With non-employees of Tonnies in the Gutersloh district, there are only 24 infected people, according to Laschet.

The Prime Minister accused the industry giant of a lack of willingness to cooperate. Therefore, the authorities had enforced the release of data from the Tonnies factory workers. "There was no longer any cooperation, there was an order," said Laschet. The fact that the company cited data protection is not an argument. For reasons of infection protection, Tonnies would have been legally obliged to transmit the data of the employees. Questions of compensation against the Tonnies company could be examined after the crisis.

Extend tests – control quarantine

The authorities will massively expand the tests in the population, stressed the head of government. The police will accompany the mobile test teams. If necessary, the authorities would have to enforce the orders with force. There will also be additional humanitarian measures to support those affected. Sufficient one meal a day is not enough, says Laschet. The people in quarantine would need intensive care.

However, compliance with the quarantine, in which the approximately 7,000 Tonnies employees and their families are now, has been difficult. The North Rhine-Westphalian state government had sent three police officers to the Gutersloh district, Laschet said. The police officers should check the quarantine of the Tonnies employees.

Schools and daycare centers in the Gutersloh district with around 370,000 residents had already been closed. A temporary production stop had also been imposed on the largest German meat factory.

"Don’t stigmatize" people

Laschet warned against putting people from the Gutersloh district under "general suspicion". One should "not stigmatize" the residents of the district. He was referring to reports that people from the circle were asked to leave at vacation spots. On the island of Usedom, a couple from Gutersloh had been asked to leave early.

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