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Elon Musk opens California Tesla plant despite local restrictions

2 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Tuesday, May 12 2020 May 12, 2020 May 12, 2020 9:44 AM May 12, 2020 in News
Source: BBC
Elon Musk Photo: Elon Musk/Instagram

Tesla's plant in California has reopened despite local restrictions implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19.

According to the BBC, on Monday, Musk tweeted that production had restarted and he would be "on the line with everyone else."

Musk previously vowed to move the firm's headquarters out of California if the plant was not allowed to reopen.

In recent weeks, he has been vocal in shooting down the lockdown orders.

He celebrated plans to relax restrictions across the country, posting: "FREE AMERICA NOW," on Twitter.

The 48-year-old has also dismissed concerns about the coronavirus as "dumb." 

Though California has eased state restrictions to allow manufacturing, Alameda County, where the Fremont plant is located, has not.

Musk wrote on Twitter that Tesla had been "singled out," saying other US carmakers were allowed to restart production.

Other carmakers had planned to resume production in May but some have had to delay this in states like Michigan where non-essential business operations are limited.

On Saturday, Musk said Tesla filed a lawsuit against the county asking a court to remove the order that prevents the carmaker from resuming production.

Rather than wait for a ruling, he decided to go ahead and reopen the plant.

Local police said that they are aware of the situation and will act at the discretion of county health officials.

The Alameda County Public Health Department said on Monday it was "actively communicating" with Tesla about reopening plans and that it was taking the same approach it had with other business that violated lockdown orders.

In an email seen by Reuters, Tesla also reportedly told workers the decision to reopen was in line with California guidelines.

Pictures of the Tesla car park on Monday showed it mostly full. The plant has been closed to all but limited essential operations since 26 March.

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