Berlin mayor wants to allow people infected with coronavirus to work in exceptional cases

In the event of very large staff shortages in critical infrastructure caused by coronavirus, Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey can imagine allowing people infected with coronavirus who do not have symptoms to work. “If it gets to the point where in the areas of the most elementary basic services we can no longer sustain operations with healthy employees alone, we will have to consider more serious measures,” the SPD politician said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag. “Then it is an option that infected people, but who have no symptoms, in exceptional cases will still be allowed to come to work.”

Such a quarantine at work could of course only be implemented with strict protective measures: “Someone who operates a machine independently in the water supply, someone who puts out a fire in the fire department, can do so without much trouble with an asymptomatic coronavirus infection. The situation is different for people who work with patients in hospitals or nursing homes.

Currently, Berlin is short 15 percent of its workforce on average, Giffey said. “We are prepared for staff shortages of up to 30 percent.” The backdrop is a surge in coronavirus infections following the spread of a variant of the Omicron virus. There are concerns that if the surge continues, important areas of care could be affected by large staff shortages.


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