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As concerns around the coronavirus epidemic rise in tandem with the number of people infected, European companies have taken steps to safeguard their staff and operations. Here are their responses so far:
Volkswagen China Subsidiary Urges 3,500 Employees to Work From Home, Suspends Business Travel
Volkswagen AG's Chinese subsidiary Volkswagen Group China is urging roughly 3,500 employees in Beijing to work from home for two weeks as the coronavirus continues to spread.
"The period will start from the first day following Beijing's Chinese New Year Holiday, Feb. 3, and will last until Feb. 17," the German car maker's subsidiary said Tuesday.
Volkswagen Group China also suspended international- and domestic-business travel until further notice.
Griffin Mining Operations at China Mine Suspended Due to Coronavirus
Griffin Mining Ltd. said Wednesday that it has been unable to resume mining activity at the Caijiaying zinc, gold, silver and lead mine in China due to travel restrictions imposed by Chinese authorities in relation to the coronavirus outbreak.
It will take at least six days to restart operations, the China-focused mining company said.
Griffin had planned to recommence mining operations on Wednesday following the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.
IAG Takes Measures Against Coronavirus
British Airways--a member of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA--said on Wednesday that it was cancelling all flights to mainland China with immediate effect. All flights to Beijing and Shanghai were cancelled following advice from the U.K.'s Foreign Office warning against all but essential travel. Flights to Hong Kong won't be affected, British Airways said.
Meanwhile, Iberia--another IAG Group airline--said it was in talks with Spain's health and foreign-affairs ministries regarding the coronavirus situation in China, but that its next China-bound flight was not until Friday.
Bosch Is Concerned About Coronavirus Outbreak
Robert Bosch's business operations haven't been affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus so far, but future developments could be concerning, the company's management board chairman Volkmar Denner said Wednesday.
The automotive supplier has around 800 employees at two Wuhan plants, which will be closed until Feb. 3 due to the Lunar New Year holiday, which was extended by the Chinese government in light of the situation.
While the company doesn't expect any impact until early February, if the situation lasts longer and supply chains are disrupted, this could change very quickly, Denner said.
ABB: Employees Arriving From China Barred From Offices
Swiss engineering company ABB said Tuesday that all employees arriving from China or Hong Kong must work remotely for 14 days before being allowed on a company site. ABB said it was also restricting travel to and from China to essential business travel only. Travel to Wuhan or the Hubei province is banned in line with Chinese governmental measures, ABB said.
The company has around 100 employees in Wuhan and around 20,000 staff in China.
SAP's Wuhan Office Extends New Year Holiday for Staff
German enterprise software giant SAP has introduced precautionary measures at its regional office in Wuhan in light of the coronavirus outbreak. The company said Tuesday that it has extended the New Year holiday for its staff by one week and has taken "heightened actions," which include more frequent disinfections at all regional offices.
SAP recently opened the Wuhan office and employs about 6,000 staff in China.
Wacker Chemie Bans Business Trips to and From China
German chemicals company Wacker Chemie has banned business travel for its employees to and from China as a precautionary measure and until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak, it said Tuesday.
"Our health service is monitoring developments and will propose further measures to the company management if necessary," the company said.
Wacker Chemie employs around 1,000 staff members at three productions sites and seven sales offices in China.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 29, 2020 10:42 ET (15:42 GMT)
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