A factory accustomed to making Monopoly and other board games is to be used for assembling medical test kits from Wednesday. 

The Waterford-based card and games manufacturer Cartamundi Ireland has announced that its plant, which has been closed in recent weeks, will reopen for a new purpose.

"A small team of employees will work on some of the plant's production lines to package components of essential medical test kits," Cartamundi Ireland managing director Barry Morrissey said.

"We are delighted to be in a position to use our expertise to support this important and essential activity at this time."

The company says it has put in place specific protection measures for workers on the production lines, including plexiglass screens and distancing measures, and will follow the strict guidelines recommended by the Health Service Executive.

"We could not do this without the support and dedication of our employees, and their health and safety remains our top priority," Mr Morrissey said.

The company is also working on plans to reopen operations fully as soon as the HSE and government restrictions are lifted.

Cartamundi is already producing face shields at its factories in Dallas and in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts in the US.

Cartamundi Ireland, known locally as the 'games factory', is the largest European games manufacturing plant in the Cartamundi Group.

Located on the Cork Road, the game maker has been in Waterford since 1977, originally as MB before being bought by Hasbro in 1984. 

Belgian-based Cartamundi took over the factory in 2015 and it continues to make games and puzzles, such as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and Connect 4.

The company employs 300 people at normal times, and up to 400 during peak production periods.