PSA has announced a 'progressive restart' to its van manufacturing operation in Luton as it looks to return to normal following the coronavirus lockdown.

In a statement issued by the French firm, which owns British brand Vauxhall as well as Citroen, DS, Opel, and Peugeot, it outlined the changes it is making at the factory to ensure the continued safety of its workforce.

Among the measurements implemented are:

  • Use wherever possible of individual transport. For carpooling and public transport, provision of masks and predefined filling rule (staggered placement from the back of the bus).

  • Temperature check at the entrance to the site, in addition to symptom self-monitoring file

  • Individual supply of masks and hydro alcoholic gel

  • Wearing glasses and masks on site

  • Respect for a distance between people throughout the site, including rest areas, smoking areas with floor markings

  • Keep doors open (except fire doors) to avoid contact with the handles

  • Frequent cleaning of tools and work surfaces

  • Waiting time during any exchange of parts not prepared in the PSA environment

  • Adjustment of rotations between teams' shifts to avoid crossovers

"Protecting our employees and protecting our company remain the two intangible principles for the management of our operations," said Yann Vincent, EVP manufacturing of Groupe PSA. "Our enhanced measures protocol offers a high level of protection to our employees and is the first criterion for restarting our manufacturing sites.

"As industrial activity is driven by commercial activity, which is our second criterion, we are gradually and securely relaunching our industrial system to manufacture the cars expected by our customers. These two criteria will guide our decisions for the coming weeks and months."

Colin MacDonald, director of the Luton plant, added: "Since the shutdown of our site, we have implemented a reinforced health protocol on our industrial site with the support of our medical service and in close collaboration with our union partners. Thanks to this collective effort, validated by the audit that took place on 4 May, we can resume the manufacturing of the commercial vehicles on Monday 18 May, in a progressive and safe manner."