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March 5, 2020

UBS bans international travel by employees on coronavirus scare

Visit our Covid-19 microsite for the latest coronavirus news, analysis and updates

Follow the latest updates of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak on our timeline.

Swiss banking group UBS has imposed a ban on non-essential international travel by employees to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).

Employees of the bank would now require special nod for travel, Bloomberg reported.

The news was reportedly confirmed by a spokesperson of UBS and conveyed to the staff in an internal memo.

Moreover, the employees would need re-approval for their current international travel plans, the memo said.

UBS has made work-at-home arrangements or a 14-day leave for its staff returning from China, South Korea, Italy or Iran.

These employees have to follow similar preventive measures even if their family members have visited these countries.

Currently, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore are on the bank’s elevated watch list. The memo indicated that the list could be updated with new countries.

At present, UBS could ask employees having contact with the aforesaid three countries to work from home or undergo self-quarantine.

“The health and safety of our employees and clients is always our main priority. We are actively monitoring the situation and are in close contact with the relevant authorities,” a spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters.

In restricting international travel, UBS joins US banks Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs.

Coronavirus updates

As of now, the death toll from the deadly coronavirus outbreak has surpassed 3,200 with confirmed cases increasing to 95,000.

The outbreak has affected several major financial institutions around the world.

Recently, the Central Bank of the UAE asked the country’s banks to reschedule monthly loan payments and reduce fees and commissions to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

Visa and Mastercard have already lowered their revenue outlook due to coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised consumers to switch to contactless payments as banknotes may aggravate the spread of the virus.


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