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Luxembourg wants cross-border medics to stay over

Published on March 16, 2020

Luxembourg on Monday invited the health workers who live outside the duchy and commute in daily to stay overnight during the coronavirus crisis.

Germany has already imposed more strict controls on its border and France and Belgium may yet follow suit, which could leave medical staff stranded.

Cross-border commuters represent 46 percent of Luxembourg’s salaried workforce and about 62 percent of hard-pressed hospital and healthcare staff.

If they are prevented from getting to work it could exacerbate the virus crisis, and France’s eastern region that borders Luxembourg is one of the worst hit.

But health minister Paulette Lenert has an idea. With tourism and business travel collapsing most of the 7,839 hotel rooms inside the country are standing empty.

“We’re going to offer all health sector professions the chance to come and use these rooms, with their families,” she said.

“Our entire economy, our entire health sector, risks collapse without the cross-border workers, so we must do everything so that they can come and work.”

To date 81 people have tested positive for novel coronavirus in Luxembourg, and one has died.