Toyota and Nestlé ban travel over coronavirus

27 February 2020

Toyota and Nestlé have announced travel bans for employees as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Toyota Motor Corp said that until further notice, it will cancel all non-essential travel for staff in Japan, where as of 27 February the number of confirmed cases has reached 186 (not counting the 704 diagnosed from the Diamond Princess cruise ship), including seven deaths.

Nestlé confirmed it had issued a directive to all its employees not to travel for business purposes.

A Nestlé spokesperson told SM: “Nestlé shares global concerns over the spread and impact on public health of coronavirus. As a precaution, we have asked all of our employees worldwide not to travel for business purposes until 15 March 2020.” 

Nestlé said it would continue to monitor the situation “in light of external developments,” suggesting the ban could be lengthened beyond mid March. 

Japan is coming under intense pressure to contain the virus, where cases are still rising. Serious questions are now starting to be asked about whether this summer’s Olympic Games could be under threat if the outbreak doesn’t start to subside soon.

The travel ban announcements follow yet more woe for companies, with further warnings about the impact of coronavirus on supplies of products. 

Microsoft has joined Apple in saying Chinese manufacturing shutdowns will impact the availability of some products, including its Surface tablets. 

Meanwhile Diageo said it expected profits to fall by as much as £140m-£200m because of closures of bars and restaurants in China.

In its latest results, Dettol owner Reckitt Benckiser said it was seeing “increased demand for Dettol and Lysol products” in response to the outbreak. Handwashing has been recommended by the World Health Organization as a preventative measure against the virus. 

However, Reckitt Benckiser added it was itself experiencing “disruption to offline retailers, distribution channels and the supply chain connected to China”.

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