Apple Halts Employee Travel to South Korea and Italy Over Coronavirus

According to a company memo sent out to employees, Apple is restricting travel to areas hit with a coronavirus outbreak, specifically South Korea and Italy.

“We have instituted specific travel restrictions in a few countries including China, South Korea, and Italy,” said the memo, reported by Bloomberg.

The memos says employees can only travel to restricted regions for “business-critical reasons”, after getting approval from a vice president.

Apple is encouraging virtual meetings to help employees safely deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.

“There are many ways to continue to manage our ongoing meetings and activities through calls and video,” explains the Apple email, read by Bloomberg. “If you do have travel planned, we suggest you work with your managers to consider delaying or canceling business travel which could be postponed or managed through virtual meetings.”

Apple’s coronavirus protocol includes deep cleaning at its stores, corporate offices and company shuttles, while hand sanitizer stations now adorn the front of retail stores. Employees who are sick with flu-like symptoms, including fever or a severe cough, should take sick leave. Apple is also telling employees to use proper hand washing and also not to touch their faces and also to cover coughs.

Prior to the travel ban to South Korea and Italy, Apple blocked employee travel to China, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. Most retail stores and corporate offices in China closed since the outbreak have started to re-open, for the most part.