Nissan has furloughed hundreds of employees at its Sunderland plant after Covid cases and self-isolating staff meant it had to stop most late-shift production.
Around 50 positive cases were reported but many more are self-isolating, leading to the production freeze and Nissan taking the decision to furlough workers.
Sunderland employs 6,000 staff and the 50 positive cases were all working across the site in different areas.
It means that hundreds more employees working nearby the staff who tested positive now have to self-isolate.
The Japanese car maker has now stopped most late-shift work and transferred some of those staff on to day-time shifts to ensure it has enough personnel.
Many co-workers of those who are off sick or self-isolating have been furloughed if their section has not got enough staff to function.
Nissan furloughed the entire site for weeks during the first lockdown in March 2020 while safe processes were set up.
A Nissan spokesman said: ‘Production in certain areas of the plant has been adjusted as we manage a number of staff being required to self-isolate following close contact with Covid-19.
‘The wellbeing of our team is our number one priority and we remain confident in the rigorous safety controls we have on site.’