FILE PHOTO: A view of Tesla Inc’s U.S. vehicle factory in Fremont, California, U.S., March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc plans to reopen its sole U.S. car plant in Fremont, California as soon as Friday, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing an email from the company to its staff.

The move comes a day after California allowed manufacturers in the state to reopen operations, shut due to coronavirus-led lockdowns, which drew an enthusiastic “Yeah!!” on Twitter from Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.

Musk, who recently became a father, has been criticizing the lockdown and stay-at-home orders calling them a “serious risk” to U.S. business, even tagging them “unconstitutional” and saying they would not hold up before the U.S. Supreme Court if challenged.

Musk said Tesla aims to restart its Fremont factory on Friday afternoon, according to the Bloomberg report. (here)

Even though the lockdown in Alameda, the county in San Francisco Bay Area where Tesla’s factory is located, is scheduled to last until the end of May. So according to a county order, the Fremont factory is not allowed to operate regularly.

California’s order from Thursday does not supersede the county plan, Alameda Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ray Kelly told Reuters on Thursday.

The Fremont plant shut its operations in mid-March after lockdowns were imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, which has infected over 3.8 million people globally.

Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Shinjini Ganguli

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