Part of German abattoir hit by coronavirus can resume slaughtering

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HAMBURG (Reuters) – Part of a huge German abattoir and meatpacking complex at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak can reopen, German authorities said on Wednesday.

The Toennies slaughterhouse and meat packing complex in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck in western Germany has been closed since mid-June after some 1,500 workers tested positive for COVID-19. This caused a lockdown for 600,000 people in the surrounding Guetersloh region that was lifted on July 6.

Part of the complex was allowed on Wednesday to reopen after new health, safety and hygiene concepts were agreed, the Rheda-Wiedenbrueck local government authority said.

The reopened plants have 597 employees involved in slaughtering and seven in meat processing and work can start immediately, the authority said.

Toennies has also applied for the reopening of the rest of its meatpacking plant, the authority said. Health and safety experts will visit the plant on Thursday to examine the company’s hygiene concept and a test reopening is possible on Friday, it said.


by Michael Hogan

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