Elon Musk's Tesla reopens factory in Nevada despite coronavirus lockdown

Workers were told last week that Tesla would begin with 'limited operations' before latest announcement 

Elon Musk makes various claims about coronavirus on Joe Rogan's podcast

Tesla has restarted all operations at its Nevada Gigafactory days after employees were told that the plant would only partially open.

Workers were informed on Monday that the Nevada plant, near Reno, would soon return to producing Tesla batteries, energy storage products, and Model 3 parts.

The internal Tesla email, which was sent to The Verge, was emailed-out on Monday afternoon after founder and CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that operations at the California plant were also coming back online.

But in a letter sent to employees last week, Tesla had told its Nevada workers that the Gigafactories in Nevada and New York had restarted with “limited operations as approved by their respective states”, CNBC news reported.

“We’re happy to get you back to work and have implemented very detailed plans to help keep you safe as you return,” wrote Tesla’s North American HR boss Valerie Workman on Monday.

Whilst some Nevada businesses began reopening this week, it was not apparent whether the Tesla plant was covered in Phase 1 of the state’s reopening.

Tesla had suspended production at sites across the US in mid-March, as states and local authorities introduced stay-at-home orders.

Mr Musk threatened last week that he would move Tesla production from California to Nevada in the aftermath of Alameda County warning that operations were not permitted at the Fremont, California, site.

“Frankly, this is the final straw,” wrote Mr Musk on Twitter. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”

Mr Musk announced on Monday that the California plant would restart despite the continued shutdown order in place in Alameda County.

US president Donald Trump said the Tesla CEO was correct to restart California operations, saying on Twitter on Tuesday that "California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!”

Nevada workers were told that Tesla would contact them with details about returning to work.

Ms Workman outlined some policies surrounding protection, and other measures, in the email sent this week.

The Independent has contacted Tesla for comment.

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