February 6, 2023

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Ford bans nonessential air travel as coronavirus spreads

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. informed staff members Tuesday it’s banning all nonessential domestic and worldwide air vacation at least until eventually March 27 as conditions of the coronavirus unfold all-around the globe.

Ford also verified two staff members in China have been identified with the coronavirus and are receiving superior, Reuters reported.

The automaker has been prohibiting vacation to and from China but is extending the ban to all flights within the U.S. and internationally. A spokesman, citing the well being and basic safety of Ford’s staff members, mentioned there may well be some exceptions, but they’d probable be exceptional.

The spokesman mentioned the company will reevaluate the date of the ban on a weekly basis and could lengthen it if essential.

CNBC initial reported the new vacation limitations.

Basic Motors, in the meantime, mentioned it has no limitations on domestic vacation for staff members, but the automaker banned staff members from touring to China, Japan, South Korea and Italy very last 7 days. Senior leaders need to approve all other worldwide vacation, a spokesman mentioned. 

Fiat Chrysler Vehicles mentioned it applied a restriction on non-vital vacation very last 7 days.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, in a letter to staff members, mentioned the company has to be “agile and responsive in our decisions” to deal with the virus.

“It will take a blend of tremendous tolerance, bravery and finally resilience to handle how we are likely about our everyday lives,” Hackett wrote. “We have moved now to speaking about the virus impact on our vacation, start designs and other aspects of our enterprise lives that count on us remaining ready to move all-around.”

Exceptions to the vacation ban, he mentioned, will be confined to occasions that are vital to Ford’s operations, can only be accomplished when bodily present and does not build an unacceptable well being hazard. He mentioned all those occasions could include things like plant, supplier and advertising readiness for products launches. 

Hackett mentioned Ford will take into account incorporating “extra protection” for all those who are questioned to vacation on exception, and all those people today could decide-out if they are not comfy. 

Hackett questioned staff members to seem out 90 times and “come across creative means to total get the job done without having touring or acquiring people today needlessly arrive to us.”

He also mentioned that, within the up coming ten times, Ford will article symptoms with steerage from the U.S. Centers for Condition Manage and Prevention to observe behavior this kind of as “opting for hellos as an alternative of handshakes,” washing their arms and using sanitizer.

The COVID-19 outbreak has halted generation for automakers and suppliers all-around the globe and is threatening to eat into 2020 earnings. The Geneva automobile display was canceled very last 7 days, although organizers of the New York automobile display mentioned Tuesday the April event is continue to on.

Individually on Tuesday, KAR Auction Services Inc. mentioned it had suspended all employee air vacation via March 31, citing the well being and properly-remaining of its staff members.

Hannah Lutz and Reuters contributed to this report.