MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – General Motors Co is tentatively planning to restart operations at its auto assembly plant in the Mexican city of Silao on May 20, according to a message to workers seen by Reuters, as the local car industry prepares to exit the coronavirus lockdown.

Workers at the plant in the central state of Guanajuato that has been idled for weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, had previously been told to plan to return to work on May 18.

GM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The message to the plant’s workers came after the Mexican government on Friday clarified when the industry could begin easing restrictions imposed because of the health emergency.

On Wednesday, the government said automakers could start going back into production from May 18. It then withdrew that advice and suggested the new start date would be June 1.

Finally it indicated the sector, which forms the backbone of Mexican manufacturing, could begin operating as soon as next week if companies had the required safety measures in place.

The Silao facility, which makes highly profitable pickup trucks for GM, is one of the biggest automotive plants in Guanajuato, a major Mexican carmaking state.

Reporting by Dave Graham; Additional reporting by Sharay Angulo; Writing by Julia Love; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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