On Tuesday, German authorities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) reimposed lockdown restrictions in two districts following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak that has affected more than half a million people.
The first move came after a Coronavirus outbreak in a meat-processing plant in the district of Gutersloh, where more than 1,500 workers have tested positive and some 7,000 have been requested to self-quarantine.
The lockdown covers around 360,000 people, and according to State premier Armin Laschet, the “preventative measures” are scheduled to be in place until June 30, however, there are suggestions of extending them.
A few hours later, the neighbouring Warendorf district also saw restrictions return, with the state’s Health Minister Karl-Hosef Laumann ordering the district’s lockdown.
“In order to protect the population, we are now launching a further safety and security package to effectively combat the spread of the virus,” said the NRW health minister.
The two restrictions mark the first renewed lockdown in the country and have led to a growing number of calls from other areas for similar lockdowns, or travel restrictions around hotspots.