With a top speed of 186mph, it takes a lot to stop a Ferrari Monza SP2.
But production of the Monza and other sleek supercars in Ferrari’s stable came to a shuddering halt in March when coronavirus swept through Italy.
2020欧洲杯网站The virus was most severe in the north of the country, including the region of Emilia-Romagna, where Ferrari has had its headquarters since 1943.
Like tens of thousands of other enterprises in Italy, its factories in Maranello and Modena had to be shut down.
But after lying idle for nearly two months, they have now reopened and have resumed full production of the Monza SP2, which costs a cool €1.5 million, as well as the similarly sinuous 812 GTS Spider and the F8 Tributo.
The relaunch of Italian industry, from car manufacturing to design, fashion, furniture and food, cannot come soon enough.
2020欧洲杯网站Italy’s industrial production dropped by 28% in March as a result of the lockdown – the steepest decline on record - and the overall economy is expected to contract by 9.5% this year.
2020欧洲杯网站Shuttered for two months, businesses across the country are anxious to get going again.
Ferrari has come up with innovative ways to stop the spread of Covid-19 at its plants – measures which will be of keen interest to British industry as the UK plans its exit strategy from the pandemic.
When the manufacturer’s 4,500 employees turn up for work, they step onto mats impregnated with gel which disinfects their shoes.
2020欧洲杯网站The gel is changed regularly to make sure the carpet remains effective. There are scanners which check workers’ temperatures to see if they have a fever.
As part of a relaunch Ferrari has dubbed “Back on Track”, doors have been adapted so they can be opened with elbows rather than hands, to minimize the risk of the virus spreading. Even the pens of visiting journalists are disinfected.
In the canteen, there are plexiglass screens between tables and meal times are staggered to ensure more space for individuals. There are separate entry and exit points for changing rooms and signs indicating the distance staff should maintain from one another.
2020欧洲杯网站Employees eat at the same spot at the same table each day – that way, if someone contracts the virus, the people he or she has been in contact with can be more easily traced. For workers who wear glasses, the company is providing anti-fogging spray.
2020欧洲杯网站“We’ve been trying to anticipate the virus – to predict what will happen in two months’ time,” said Michele Antoniazzi, Ferrari’s chief of human resources and head of its anti-Covid 19 task force.
2020欧洲杯网站“In one way, we were lucky. Colleagues who returned from our office in China in January were telling us about cities under lockdown and closed factories. We were asking ourselves back then what would happen if the virus arrived in Italy.”
The safety measures have given reassurance to employees as they return to work.
“After seven weeks of being stuck at home I couldn’t wait to get back,” said Piero, a 35-year-old employee. “If you are professional and well organised, you can beat the virus.”
2020欧洲杯网站Having lost production of 2,000 cars during the shutdown, Ferrari is now eager to make up for lost time.
2020欧洲杯网站As part of a voluntary programme, 97% of employees have submitted to blood tests. The tests show whether an employee is healthy, or might be infected. If the latter, they then need a swab test to confirm whether they actually have the virus.
“Some have tested positive for the virus and were not even aware of it, which is worrying – they had no symptoms at all,” said a company spokeswoman.
For employees who have caught Covid-19 but want to recuperate away from home – perhaps because they live with elderly parents – Ferrari provides free board and lodging, with medical assistance.
The blood test programme has been extended beyond the bounds of the factories to encompass relatives, contractors and local residents – around 18,000 people in all.
None of this comes cheap. Ferrari won’t say how much it has all cost, with the company’s spokeswoman saying only that the safety protocols have cost “a significant amount of money. We don’t see it as a cost but as an investment.”
2020欧洲杯网站Similarly rigorous protocols have been adopted by other Italian firms, including Alcantara, which produces high-end materials for the fashion industry, luxury car brands like Lamborghini and Maserati, furniture and interior design.
It was one of the first Italian manufacturers to reopen after Italy imposed its national lockdown in early March.
2020欧洲杯网站At its factory near the town of Narni in Umbria, the firm’s 550 employees have their temperature measured when they arrive for work. They also undergo blood tests.
“They are not 100% reliable and there is a margin of error but we are doing all we can to ensure a safe working environment and minimize the risk of contagion,” said Andrea Boragno, the president of the company. “Luckily, no one has tested positive so far.”
Thousands of restaurants, bars and hairdressers will also have to wrestle with social distancing rules when they reopen across the country on Monday.
The government has decreed that there must be at least two metres (6ft) between tables in restaurants, but many owners say the rules spell financial ruin because they will drastically reduce the number of customers they can accommodate.
The owner of Harry’s Bar, a legendary watering hole on the banks of the Grand Canal in Venice, fears it may not be worth reopening.
2020欧洲杯网站Arrigo Cipriani calculates he has lost €2m in revenue since the bar and restaurant had to close on March 6.
2020欧洲杯网站“I want to open at all costs but not under the rules that are being imposed on us. Our capacity will be reduced from 150 covers to 10. What am I going to do with my 75 employees?” Mr Cipriani, 88, whose bar has been frequented by Hemingway, Truman Capote and Woody Allen, told La Repubblica newspaper.
He is also opposed to the requirement that waiters and waitresses will have to wear face masks. “Absolutely not. Clients want to see a person in front of them, not a robot.”