Audi said its manufacturing plants in Europe will gradually return to normality by the end of April, and it’s currently taking initial steps to introduce health precautions to guarantee the safety of its employees.

General works council chairman, Peter Mosch said: “The restart will be accompanied by a comprehensive package of measures to ensure that the employees’ health is protected.” This includes clear rules of distance and hygiene, a modified shift system to avoid contact, and the obligation to use mouth and nose protection in areas where distances of 1.5 metres are not possible.

In fact, critical workplaces have been installed with physical barriers. For example, employees at its door pre-assembly section (pictured below) usually work in close proximity opposite each other, but they have already developed a transparent barrier made out of plastic sheeting to protect themselves.

The facilities are targeted to be “corona-ready,” a term unanimously coined by experts from occupational safety, health care, industrial engineering, works council, as well as production managers. Audi claims to have developed appropriate solutions for all areas, including group spaces, factory gates, parking spaces, and internal factory traffic, as well as catering and factory restaurants.

All employees will be informed in writing about these measures in advance, and will each receive comprehensive safety instructions from their superiors as work resumes. Those who are not directly involve with production may continue working from home, it said.

“Vehicle production at the Audi sites will be gradually ramped up from the end of April onwards according to a fixed plan. Engine production in Gyor already started gradually ramping up again this week. For those employees at the factories in Germany who will only be able to resume their work fully in later phases of the restart, short-time working regulations will continue to apply until then,” the automaker said in a statement.