Bridgestone EMIA says its plants across its European manufacturing network will be either temporarily closing or reducing production, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Béthune plant in France and the Bari plant in Italy will be closed until 6 April.

In addition, Bridgestone's Bilbao, Puente San Miguel and Burgos plants in Spain, the Lanklaar plant in Belgium, the Stargard and Poznan plants in Poland and the Tatabanya plant in Hungary will all be running at a reduced production capacity.

"The changes are being made to align Bridgestone's supply with predicted demand in the current market," said a Bridgestone statement. "The company has sufficient product supply to meet customer demand and its distribution centres, plant warehouses and logistics teams will continue to fill orders. The company will continue to evaluate the situation on a need basis.

"In the locations that remain operational, Bridgestone is taking the appropriate preventive measures in accordance with its protocols for the prevention of occupational hazards and strictly following the guidance and recommendations of the health authorities in all its work centres. In addition, thorough procedures and checklists to ensure safety in the workplace have been put in place.

"Bridgestone's chief priority during this unprecedented time is to ensure the well-being and safety of its employees and the integrity of its operations. The company continues to monitor the situation closely and abide by the advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as government regulations in countries in which it operates."

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