Planned Mandatory Testing at Airports, Increased Fines & More: A Summary of Today’s Press Conference from the Bavarian State Government

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In light of recent coronavirus outbreaks in the state, including the one at a farm in Lower Bavaria, Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder (CSU), Minister of State Dr. Florian Herrmann and Health Minister Melanie Huml held a press conference on Monday morning to discuss planned updates in coronavirus measures in order to curb a second wave.

Söder sombrely began the press conference with a reminder that coronavirus is not over, and that it is slowly but surely making a return.

You can watch the full press conference here in German, but below you’ll find a summary of the press conference’s main takeaways translated into English.

Moving forward, there will be frequent mandatory tests for all farm seasonal workers

Following the recent outbreak at a vegetable farm in Mamming, Söder announced that all farms in the state will be checked by unannounced inspectors (day and night) in more frequent intervals throughout the harvest. Seasonal workers will also all be tested throughout Bavaria.

Fines will be increased for businesses who violate hygiene requirements

Given that the Mamming farm outbreak is linked to a violation of mandatory hygiene requirements, the State of Bavaria is increasing the fines for hygiene violations from 5000 euros to 25.000 euros.

There will be an increase in voluntary testing stations at travel hubs

While plans have already been announced for free testing at Bavaria’s airports, Söder hopes to expand testing in more travel hotspots and border points, specifically intended to increase testing opportunities for those travelling by car or train.

The plan is to build voluntary testing stations near the border in Walserberg, in Pocking and Kiefersfelden, as well as the main train stations in both Munich and Nuremberg.

Söder wants to establish mandatory testing at airports

While it has not been officially established just yet, Söder announced in the press conference that he hopes to make (free) coronavirus tests at airports mandatory for those returning to Bavaria. Minister of Health Melanie Huml later added that mandatory testing for those returning from high risk areas via cars and trains is also conceivable.

For more information, you can watch the full press conference here.

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