Ford to restart main European factories on May 4

Ford on Tuesday said it would restart its main European car factories on Monday 4 May, but its UK plants in Dagenham and Bridgend will stay closed until later in the spring. The US car giant, which closed its European and north American factories at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March, said production would begin slowly with strict standards on social distancing and safety precautions. Safety measures include mandatory face masks, which the company will produce itself to “reduce demand on stretched supply chains for personal protection equipment also needed by medical services and other industries”. All people entering Ford factories will have to have their body temperature checked and employees will also be required to fill out daily wellness self-assessment forms. Vauxhall said it was ready to reopen its Ellesmere Port site south of the Wirral aftersetting out socially distanced production lines, break areas and restrooms. Aston Martin Lagonda said it would reopen its factory in St Athan, south Wales, on 5 May with new safety measures similar to those planned by Vauxhall.