Suspected COVID-19 Romanian seasonal workers sent home from Germany

Romanian seasonal workers suspected of having the COVID-19 infection are being sent back to Romania and will enter quarantine for two weeks, reports Kolozsvár newspaper Gazeta de Cluj. Originally an aircraft was supposed to transport around 200 people suspected of carrying the novel coronavirus to the Transylvania Airport of Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș, but the flight was canceled, the airport confirmed to TransylvaniaNOW.

With their air transport canceled, the workers will be transported back home by bus, according to unnamed sources of Gazeta de Cluj. The Kolozs/Cluj County prefect says he wasn’t informed about the matter. “I heard some issues in which I understood that they wanted to repatriate a number of citizens who left the Kolozs/Cluj Airport because they were unsatisfied with the living and contractual conditions in Germany, so they wanted to return home. I have requested the Ministry of Transport to direct the flight to the Iasi airport, considering that the majority of citizens came from Moldova. There were many workers from counties other than Kolozs, as well,” he said, adding that if there had been workers from Kolozs County, he would have been informed.

As we previously reported, thousands of seasonal workers from Romania flew from Transylvania to Germany despite the coronavirus pandemic, hoping to earn a living. The German government decided to allow 80,000 seasonal food harvesters to enter the country, but that still falls short of the 300,000 workers sought by German farmers for the 2020 harvest. However, Germany’s approach to seasonal workers infected with coronavirus is rather ambiguous. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed Romania’s Wall-Street.ro that the cost of treating 200 Romanian employees who tested positive for COVID-19 at an unnamed German slaughterhouse will be covered by the German government. Covering the cost of treatment, however, doesn’t apparently apply to seasonal workers.

Title image: Fieldworker. Image source: Pixabay

Author: István Fekete