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Vauxhall paves way to reopen Ellesmere Port

Vauxhall has started preparations to reopen its Ellesmere Port plant in the Wirral after implementing a range of safety protocols to help protect workers.

Vauxhall has said restart timing will be assessed on a week-by-week basis

The plant, which makes the Astra, closed mid-March along with parent firm PSA’s other facilities across Europe; and although a restart date has not yet been announced, Vauxhall said the plant has deployed a protocol of reinforced health measures. This has now been fully audited and is to be reviewed by trade union Unite before work can resume.

The protocol covers some 100 measures, including checking employees’ temperatures, supplying employees with PPE including masks, ensuring safe distancing and frequent cleaning of tools and work surfaces. Doors will also be left open to help reduce contact.

It’s one of the first UK industrial companies shut down during the epidemic to explore restarting operations. Already in Europe, Volkswagen has said it will start opening operations from next week; again backed by a 100-point safety programme.

Audi has also announced today that its plants in Europe will slowly return to normality by the end of April, with the focus on “a safe working environment”.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.