Wuhan coronavirus leads Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft to close China locations and suspend employee travel unless 'business critical'

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 09: A departures board displays cancelled and delayed flights at San Francisco International Airport on September 09, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Hundreds of departing and arriving flights at San Francisco International Airport have been cancelled or significantly delayed each day since September 7 as a planned Dollar 16.2 million runway renovation project gets underway. The project is expected to be finished by September 27. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple, Amazon, Google, and other major tech companies have announced travel restrictions to and from China as fears grow surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.Advertisement

The virus has already killed more than 100 people and spread to at least 18 countries, prompting many more countries to warn against travel to China.

Businesses with a significant presence in China are now following suit by banning or limiting employees from traveling to the country as precaution, with some leaving exceptions for "business critical" travel.

Here's a list of major tech companies who have restricted employee travel so far.
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Amazon

"We place tremendous value and focus on the well-being and safety of our employees. Out of an abundance of caution, we are restricting business travel to and from China until further notice and encouraging our employees to follow the health and safety guidelines provided by international health agencies such as the CDC and WHO," an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider.

Amazon also said it's approving some exceptions for essential business travel, and that it's telling employees who do travel to affected regions in China to work from home for two weeks before returning to the office and to seek medical attention first if they experience symptoms.

Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts during an earnings call Tuesday that the company had restricted employee travel to China except in limited "business-critical situations."

"We're taking additional precautions and frequently deep-cleaning our stores as well as conducting temperature checks for employees," Cook said.

The company has also closed down at least three stores in China because of the coronavirus.

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Facebook

Facebook confirmed to Business Insider that it had halted all non-essential travel to China by its staff. Employees in China were also directed to work from home, according to Bloomberg.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we have taken steps to protect the health and safety of our employees," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

Facebook also asked employees who had recently traveled to China to work from home for a period out of caution.

Google

Google has temporarily halted business travel to mainland China and closed its stores, a company spokesperson told The Verge on Wednesday.

Google also told The Verge it would keep its offices closed in accordance with government guidance and is telling employees in China or who have immediate family returning from China to work from home for two weeks.

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Microsoft

"Based on the evaluation of risk communicated by global health authorities we have advised employees in China to work from home and cancel all non-essential business travel," a Microsoft spokesperson told Forbes.