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Google clamps down on travel in wake of coronavirus

It’s also canceling the Google News Initiative Summit in the Bay Area.

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What you need to know

  • Google is further restricting international travel for its employees after one tested positive for the coronavirus in Zurich.
  • The firm will add Italy, Japan, and South Korea to its list of places to avoid.
  • Google is also canceling its May Google News Initiative Global Summit due to coronavirus concerns.

Google is restricting employee travel after one employee in Zurich tested positive for the coronavirus. It’s not clear how the employee was infected with the virus, and the current state of the employee has yet to be revealed. Business Insider has reported that the employee was not symptomatic while they remained at the office.

As part of further precautions, Google will prevent employees from traveling to Iran where the coronavirus has recently been spreading, as well as Lombardy and Veneto in Italy. It will also add Japan and South Korea to its list of bans from Sout

A Google spokesperson told Business Insider the following:

“We can confirm that one employee from our Zurich office has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. They were in the Zurich office for a limited time, before they had any symptoms. We have taken — and will continue to take — all necessary precautionary measures, following the advice of public health officials, as we prioritize everyone’s health and safety.”

Google is also canceling its Google News Initiative Summit in response to coronavirus concerns. It’s not clear whether the event will be rescheduled till later in the year, or just canceled wholesale.

Oh wow, Google cancelling their Google News Initiative summit due to #coronavirus fears

— Matt Karolian (@mkarolian) February 28, 2020

Regarding this matter, a Google spokesperson gave the following statement (via CNN’s Kerry Flynn):

“We regret that we have to cancel our global Google News Initiative summit but the health and wellbeing of our guests is our number one priority.”

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