Amazon directed all of its 798,000 employees to avoid “non-essential travel” domestically and internationally over concerns about the potential spread of the coronavirus, a company spokesman told Business Insider.
Based on concerns over the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Amazon told its 798,000 employees to avoid non-essential travel both internationally and domestically, Business Insider reported. The directive comes after California, Oregon, and Washington reported four cases of Covid-19 involving patients who neither traveled to China or had close contact with a person having a confirmed case of the disease.
David Clark, a senior vice president over Amazon’s worldwide operations sent an email stating that no group or team meetings requiring travel should be planned until May, the New York Times reported after reviewing company emails. Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman later confirmed the directive, stating, “We are watching this situation closely with a focus on the safety of our teams and ensuring we can meet customer promises. We are closely following local and international health authority guidance as this situation progresses.”
Prior to Friday’s announcement by Amazon, the company had only restricted travel to and from China, Business Insider continued. The company also advised any workers who previously traveled to China to work from home for two weeks and seek medical attention of they showed symptoms of the Covid-19 disease.
In addition to its warnings to employees, Amazon began stockpiling Made in China products to prevent shortages and/or price gouging from sellers for coronavirus-related products like face masks.