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Automakers said on Monday that they would be restarting production at certain plants in China after COVID-19 restrictions shut them down for weeks. The so-called “zero-COVID” lockdowns were implemented as China saw its highest number of infections in the past two years. The lockdowns impacted millions of people while hindering the production efforts of many companies, including automakers. 

Toyota announced on Monday that it plans to restart production at its Changchun plant in China’s Jilin province, which has been closed since March 14. While planning has been in progress, the automaker stated that “the timing for full-scale operation has yet to be determined.”

Volkswagen said it would also be resuming production at its Changchun factory, but operations at its factory in Shanghai will remain shut down. 

Tesla allowed employees to return to work at its production facility in Shanghai, but they will be working under a so-called closed-loop system and will be subjected to strict COVID-19 prevention measures. All employees will live at the facility for the time being and are required to be tested for COVID-19 for the first three days after returning and must follow strict handwashing and temperature-taking protocols. Current plans indicate that the automaker will follow this system until May 1. 

The government in the Jilin province, where Toyota and Volkswagen are resuming production, said COVID-19 transmission in the region has stopped, and factories can reopen. Shanghai, however, has continued to see an increase in infections and has come up with a list of over 650 companies that have special permission to reopen. Almost 40% of the entities included on the list are reportedly automakers or suppliers. There is no timeline of when total production can resume.

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