World News

Peugeot’s Vauxhall prepares safety steps for UK plant reopenings

LONDON (Reuters) – Peugeot’s <PEUP.PA> British brand Vauxhall, which operates two factories, is planning several safety measures including temperature checks, face mask-wearing and shift rescheduling to allow it to reopen sites amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Britain on Thursday extended lockdown measures for at least three more weeks in a bid to contain the pandemic and all car factories remain closed.

But on the continent some automakers are planning to resume limited operations next week as businesses liaise with unions on how employees can safely begin returning to work.

Vauxhall’s north west England Ellesmere Port factory, which made just over 60,000 Astra cars last year, and its Luton van site, which produces the Vivaro, alongside other Peugeot locations in Europe, have been closed since mid March.

No reopening dates have been set for the British plants but Peugeot is monitoring the situation on a week-by-week basis, a spokesman said.

The firm plans to ensure safety by rescheduling shifts, making compulsory temperature checks, enforcing face mask-wearing, replacing hand dryers with paper towels and controlling access to shared areas such as changing rooms.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by James Davey)