Twitter bans ‘non-critical’ business travel over coronavirus fears
Twitter has rolled out a ban on all “non-critical” business travel and events as the social media firm ramps up its health precautions amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a blog post published yesterday, Twitter’s chief HR officer Jennifer Christie said the company had informed staff of the new measures at the end of last week.
“This policy is effective immediately and will continue until the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control deem it appropriate to step back from pandemic precautionary measures or when a vaccine becomes available,” she said.
“Our goal is to reduce the risk that anyone at Twitter might contract or inadvertently spread the virus. It is important that we take these proactive steps to protect ourselves and others and minimise the spread of Covid-19.”
The move means that Twitter founder Jack Dorsey will no longer be appearing at South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual media festival set to take place in Austin, Texas from 13 to 22 March.
A petition calling for SXSW to be cancelled has gained almost 10,000 signatures, but organisers have insisted the event will go ahead.
Mobile World Congress — one of the world’s largest telecoms conferences — was set to take place last week in Barcelona but was scrapped after a string of high-profile companies pulled out.
Twitter is the latest major company to ban travel as a result of coronavirus. Fears about the outbreak dragged last week the FTSE 100 to its worst performance since the financial crisis in 2008.
Goldman Sachs today said it was banning all non-essential business travel, while Nestle, L’Oreal and Unilever are among other businesses to take measures against the virus.
The travel ban comes at a turbulent time for Twitter, which could be facing a revolt from activist investor Elliott Management.
Elliott has built up a stake in the social media firm and is said to be plotting the removal of Dorsey.