Coronavirus prompts Amazon to tell employees to defer travel

Travel plans being affected by virus outbreak

Amazon has asked its employees to defer all non-essential travel as worries about the coronavirus outbreak continue to grow around the world.

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The move came as airlines have canceled flights to China and other hotspots for the virus and hotels in affected regions have also reported declines in visitors.

In this Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 photo, a traveler wears a mask while waiting for a flight at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in Texas. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP)

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Amazon has also paused tours of its North American fulfillment centers due to the coronavirus, it said on a statement on its website.

“The well-being of our employees and guests are of paramount importance to us,” the company said.

Worldwide, there were more than 83,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 2,800 deaths attributed to the virus as of Friday, according to the World Health Organization.

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Airport staff check the temperatures of passengers returning from Milan as part of the coronavirus screening procedure at the Debrecen airport, Hungary, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI via AP)

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In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 15 confirmed cases, including 12 travel-related and three that had been spread from person to person.

Amazon isn’t the only company to tell employees to avoid traveling amid the outbreak. Investment banks including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Credit Suisse have put off trips to Italy, Reuters reported this week. Bankers have also been restricted from visiting clients in South Korea and France.

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