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Facebook warns staff to halt travel to China amid coronavirus

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Facebook, China, Virus

Facebook has told employees to stay out of China amid the coronavirus outbreak as the feds warned Americans to rethink their travel plans to that country.

The social-media giant has told staffers to halt non-essential travel to the Chinese mainland to avert the spread of the disease, which has killed more than 100 people and infected more than 2,800. The company also said employees who had visited China — where the Facebook website is blocked — should work from home.

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“Out of an abundance of caution, we have taken steps to protect the health and safety of our employees,” a Facebook spokesman said.

The restrictions that took effect Monday require employees to get approval to go to China, according to Bloomberg News. The limits are reportedly likely to affect the company’s hardware division selling devices such as the Oculus virtual-reality headset.

Facebook’s move came as the US State Department on Monday urged Americans to “reconsider” travel to all of China over growing concerns about the virus. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are monitoring 110 possible cases of the disease in 26 states.

Coronavirus worries have led other companies to limit employee travel or ask staffers to quarantine themselves. New York-based investment giant Goldman Sachs told employees who have been to mainland China to stay out of the office or work from home for two weeks since they last visited, Reuters reported Tuesday.

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Some Asia-based firms have imposed travel restrictions. Appliances manufacturer LG has banned travel to China altogether while automaker Honda has recommended that employees avoid traveling there.

But the stock markets appeared poised to bounce back Tuesday after coronavirus fears turned the Dow Jones Industrial Average negative for the year on Monday.

Dow futures were up 0.4 percent at 28,590.00 as of 7:22 a.m., while Nasdaq futures rose 0.7 percent and S&P futures jumped 0.5 percent.

Source: New York Post

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