Fear of coronavirus leads Google and Amazon to curb employee’s travel
The rising cases of CoronaVirus (COVID-19) around the globe have made tech giants Google and Amazon halt their employee travels to Iran and the East Asian countries including China,Japan and South Korea as well as to parts of Europe like Italy. While Amazon has restricted all nonessential travels, both domestic and international, Google has cancelled its ‘Global News Initiative’ summit which was to be held in northern California in April.
Though Google has shut down its offices in China, the red-alert is high as one of the employees in the Zurich office, Switzerland was tested positive for the coronavirus. Even though Google has not decided to shut their Zurich office off, precautionary measures are being taken to prevent the virus outbreak. Everyone’s health and safety are prioritized and necessary steps will be taken as per the advice of public health officials - a Google spokesperson confirmed the same during an interview. Both the companies have instructed employees returning from China to work from home for up to two weeks after their returns.
An email was sent out by the Senior Vice President Dave Clark to all Amazon employees banning meetings that require travel until April end. Onsite interviews are also cancelled and have been substituted by video chats.
The curb on travel by both the tech behemoths will trigger a huge decline in flight bookings as both the companies are huge buyers of corporate air travel. With a strength of around 120,000 employees, Google leads in corporate air travel. The business for these companies will also be inevitably impacted by the ban and restrictions on travel.
The coronavirus (COVID-19), which originated in China’s Hubei province has claimed up to 2835 lives in China and has affected 90,932 people globally, as of date, over the past few months. With China witnessing a massive set back on all aspects from Industry and travel & tourism to education and regular life, the fast-spreading virus has invaded other parts of the globe including Europe and the Middle East. The coming months could face a predictable slump in travel schedules as global giants are cutting down hugely on their business meetings and job interviews.
The outbreak of coronavirus has also resulted in the cancellation of major tech conferences like Mobile World Congress, Cisco Live Melbourne, DEF CON China, and Facebook’s Annual Marketing, to name a few.
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