Seasonal workers are no longer allowed to enter Germany. The Federal Ministry of the Interior ordered this to slow down the spread of the corona pandemic in Germany. Harvest workers and other seasonal workers will be denied entry from 5 p.m. as part of the existing border controls, a spokesman said.
The regulation applies to entry from third countries, Great Britain, EU countries such as Bulgaria and Romania, which do not fully apply all Schengen rules, and countries such as Austria, “for which internal border controls have been temporarily reintroduced”. How to deal with seasonal workers from Poland and the Czech Republic has not yet been finally clarified. However, because of the restrictions in their own country, they would have difficulties getting to Germany anyway. These restrictions are “imperative to break chains of infection,” the spokesman said. It is now being examined how the failure can be compensated for by labor potential in Germany.
Peasant President Joachim Rukwied said that the entry ban hits the businesses very hard at this stage. The stop must be kept as short as possible. The companies are ready to implement any measures to protect against infection. Fruit, vegetable and wine-growing businesses in particular urgently need workers.
Klockner: Harvester portal is “overrun”
Agriculture employs almost 300,000 seasonal workers every year, mainly from Eastern Europe. Many companies are currently lacking labor for harvesting and sowing. Associations and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture have set up internet platforms to bring businesses and volunteers who could work in the fields into contact.
According to the federal government, the mediation platform has met with a great response. The job portal “was overrun on the first day,” said Federal Minister of Agriculture Julia Klockner (CDU) in the SWR. By Tuesday evening, more than 16,000 people would have signed up to help out in agriculture. She sees this as “a great sign, how society holds together,” said the minister.
The corona crisis shows how important it is to have local food production available locally, Klockner said. “We need our farmers and also the food industry directly in our country.” It is therefore important that “we have something at home, but that the intra-European transport and exchange also works.” However, it is “not without the consumer”. With his demand, he decides what is produced where.
Editor’s note: The regulations for seasonal workers from Poland and the Czech Republic have been corrected by the news agency and accordingly in this text.