Home / News / Germany Exempts 40,000 Seasonal Workers from Current Entry Restrictions

 

Seasonal and Harvest WorkersThe Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer and Federal Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner have agreed to exempt 40 thousand foreign season workers through April and May from the current entry restrictions for this category of workers due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The join concept presented by the ministers aims to exempt from the entry restrictions on seasonal workers those working in the field of fruit and vegetable growing, as a lot of companies in Germany depend on harvest helpers from abroad.

An announcement published by the German Ministry of Interior website notes that around 20 thousand workers have entered Germany from the beginning of the year until the introduction of restrictions, while about 100,000 seasonal workers are necessary for the agriculture by the end of May.

The narrowly limited exceptions only apply under strict conditions that have been coordinated with the Robert Koch Institute and the farmers’ association to ensure that the population is protected against infection. The number of foreign seasonal workers is limited to what is necessary,” the announcement reads.

At the end of March, the German Federal Ministry of Interior delivered its decision to no longer permit seasonal workers and harvest workers to enter Germany due to the existing border controls, in a bid of the country to further curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

According to the Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer, the strict requirements for protection against infection hit the German population hard, including the economy and agriculture. He believes that the measures are necessary to interrupt the infection chains.

“… we have managed to find a way to reconcile the health protection of the population with the security of the crops. In close cooperation with all parties involved, my company has developed regulations that are now being implemented swiftly will,”

Whereas the Federal Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner asserted that the solution to exempt thousands of foreigners from the travel restrictions is a pragmatic and goal-oriented solution that takes legitimate concerns into account – necessary protection against infection on the one hand and crop protection on the other.

This is important and good news for our farmers because the harvest does not wait Sowing cannot be postponed. To provide consumers with sufficient and high-quality local food even during the corona pandemic, farmers have to rely on the help of seasonal workers from abroad – these are specialists in their field,” the Minister said.

The Ministry has foreseen that the foreign seasonal workers coming in April and May should only come in and out by plane and not by hourly bus trips through Europe for reasons of infection protection.

The appropriate airports for the arrival of these workers will be deiced between the federal police and the farmers’ associations. Employees will be obliged to pick up the workers at the company, among other rules.

The agreement on the joint concept also foresees a health check of the workers arranged by the employers carried out by medical staff using a standardized procedure, which results should then be sent to the local health department.

Additionally, new arrivals must live and work strictly separately from other employees in the first 14 days.