March 4, 2020
At the end of February, the 2019 COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak reached a heightened point as the number of cases confirmed outside of China surpassed those within.
Within the last week, Iran, Italy, Japan, Germany, and the United States have experienced a rise in the number of confirmed cases of the virus. Those at the center of the infection, as well as other countries, are responding by putting additional precautionary measures in place:
- To slow the spread of the virus, many countries, such as South Korea, Iran, Italy, France, Germany, and the U.S., are working to trace those who had come in contact with other infected individuals
- Several countries realizing impacts of COVID-19, such as Japan and Iraq, have ordered schools to close, which is a measure that was also put in place in mainland China and Hong Kong
- Some countries, such as Iran, continue urging citizens to avoid unnecessary trips
- With confirmed case numbers rising, quarantines continue to be implemented. Italy is implementing quarantines in 11 towns with outbreaks
- Many countries are taking steps to limit the virus spread by cancelling its public events or celebrations. Greece, for example, is cancelling all carnival activities
As travel restrictions, school and business closings, quarantines, and public event cancellations continue, it is imperative for HR and mobility managers to develop business continuity plans for an extended period. With the safety of people top of mind, organizations continue to utilize proactive communications and alternative work arrangements as part of managing the day-to-day wellbeing of employees. Forecasting financial impacts of extending coverage for travel, delayed assignments, other associated costs, and transitioning back to business as usual must be considered to fully prepare for the risks that can impact mobility programs.
Read additional best practices and considerations in our recent Insights article: Coronavirus and the Mobility-Minded Response.