Car Industry

Ferrari banks on coronavirus testing and phones to restart production

Voluntary blood tests, COVID-19 tests and phone tracking could be Ferrari's blueprint to get people back to work.

Could Ferrari create a testing blueprint for automakers?
Tim Stevens/Roadshow
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Ferrari wants to put its employees back to work after a lengthy shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, and an intricate screening and testing scheme could be just the blueprint do accomplish a production restart.

Reuters reported Tuesday on Ferrari's intricate plans to bring workers back to factories early next month, and while they're voluntary, the desire for testing is strong, Alberto Zanetti, head of the UILM union in northern Italy's Modena's province told the publication.

The scheme starts with blood tests for workers, which works with a smartphone app. The blood tests will give workers a green light to return to work and show there's no trace of illness. If the blood test flags a disease, workers will then receive a COVID-19 test. All the while, the app tracks those registered and lets other workers know if they've come in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19. It should help isolate cases and quarantine those quickly and effectively.

For those who do test positive in the plan, Ferrari plans to allocate special insurance coverage if the disease requires hospitalization and will set up accommodations for anyone entering a quarantine period. Importantly, the entire system is set up to protect privacy and Zanetti believes 90% of the workforce will enrol for testing.

The union head also told Reuters he's already fielding phone calls from other other companies as more look for solutions to return employees to work. Ferrari's plan could become a blueprint for other industries and carmakers alike.

The last update the Italian carmaker gave pegged a production restart for May 3. Ferrari pushed this date back a handful of times as the pandemic swept across not just Italy, but the world. The company told Roadshow it still targets May 3 and underscored the importance of this program.

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