A worker assembles an engine for a Mercedes-Benz S-class model at the Daimler Powertrain plant in Bad Cannstatt, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues near Stuttgart, Germany, April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

STUTTGART (Reuters) – Mercedes-Benz is ramping up engine production at its plant in Bad Cannstatt, Stuttgart, this week after Germany eased lockdown measures in a sign Europe’s largest economy is getting back to work after the coronavirus brought the country to a standstill.

Daimler (DAIGn.DE), parent company of Mercedes-Benz, is gradually opening its plants in Europe using lessons learned from resuming production at its plant in China, to ensure that the coronavirus does not spread among workers in Germany.

“Anywhere we can not guarantee a 1.5 metre distance, employees are required to wear face masks,” said Frank Deiss, vice president of powertrain production.

Daimler has spread out shifts so that workers no longer run into each other.

Unlike Italy and Spain, Germany never banned car production, though factories came to a standstill after authorities restricted the movement of people and ordered the closure of car dealerships, hitting demand.

Mercedes-Benz plants in Hamburg, Berlin and Untertuerkheim will also resume production this week, with plants in Sindelfingen and Bremen also making preparations to ramp up production.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Mark Potter

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