Google is blocking its employees from traveling to Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea for fear of being affected by the new corona virus outbreak,media outlet Business Insider reported. A spokesman confirmed to The Verge that Amazon also asked employees to postpone all unnecessary travel, including domestic travel within the United States.
Both companies had previously imposed restrictions on business travel to China, and Google temporarily closed its offices in China at the end of January. A Google spokesman confirmed to The Verge that a Google employee in Zurich, Switzerland, had been diagnosed with the new coronavirus. “They spent a limited time in their Zurich office before any symptoms developed,” the spokesman said in an email. “
According to Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president for the New York Times, employees are not allowed to schedule meetings for business trips until the end of April.
Amazon also canceled all on-site interviews with job seekers, Gizmodo reported. The interview will be conducted via video chat.
Currently, there are more than 83,000 confirmed cases of new coronavirus worldwide. China has the highest number of cases, but in countries such as Japan and South Korea, the outbreak is escalating. For example, there are currently more than 2,300 confirmed cases and 13 deaths in South Korea.
The ongoing outbreak has had a major impact on the technology sector, including store closures and production delays across China. Organizers canceled the Mobile World Congress after companies such as Amazon, ZTE and Sony pulled out of the conference, while Facebook announced it was canceling its annual F8 software developer conference.