US electric-car maker Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has told employees that its plant in Fremont, California will be reopened on Friday. It comes as California allows state manufacturers to start reopening following the lockdown.

Musk wrote on Thursday: “In light of Governor Newsom’s statement earlier today approving manufacturing in California, we will aim to restart production in Fremont tomorrow afternoon. I will be on the line personally helping wherever I can.”

He added: “However, if you feel uncomfortable coming back to work at this time, please do not feel obligated to do so. These are difficult times, so thanks very much for working hard to make Tesla successful!”

Tesla’s HR boss, Valerie Capers Workman, sent a separate e-mail to US employees on Thursday night with additional details. She said Tesla’s Fremont car plant would resume “limited operations” Friday, bringing back around 30 percent of the employees that would normally be working on a given shift. Production at the plant has been halted since March 23.

According to media reports, last week contractors of Tesla’s manufacturing facility in Fremont and the Gigafactory in Nevada learned about the company’s decision to furlough employees amid the coronavirus crisis.

Musk came under fire earlier for downplaying the severity of the pandemic after he tweeted last month that the “panic” surrounding coronavirus was “dumb.”

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