Vauxhall has announced that production at its plant in Ellesmere Port in the north west of England will recommence production following a halt to proceedings brought about by the coronavirus crisis.

The factory is reopening on August 17 with a number of new health and safety protocols in place.

Among the more than 100 new measures in place – at all levels of the factory's operations, including industrial, administrative, R&D and commercial – 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/goggles 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

"As industrial activity is driven by commercial activity, we are gradually and safely resuming our industrial activity at Ellesmere Port on 17th August," Yann Vincent, EVP manufacturing of Groupe PSA. "I would particularly like to praise the contribution of the Ellesmere Port employees who have supported the ramp-up of the production of Luton plant with a temporary transfer.

"This is a strong illustration that, together with Unite the Union, we have succeeded to protect both our employees and our operations in the UK in the difficult context of the Covid-19 crisis."

Vauxhall Ellesmere Port

Mark Noble, director of the Ellesmere Port plant, added: "Our strengthened health procedures provide a high level of protection to our employees and this is the first consideration for restarting our manufacturing sites.

"Since the shutdown of the site on 17th March, a reinforced Health and Safety Barrier protocol has been implemented in the Plant with the full involvement of Unite the Union. This fully complies with the standards set by both Groupe PSA and also the UK Government.

"This Health & Safety Barrier protocol was validated by a Groupe PSA audit that took place on 24th April 2020, which enables the resumption of production of the Astra on 17th August, in a progressive and safe manner."