Walmart Restricts Business Travel in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

Walmart announces it is restricting all cross-border international travel to business-critical trips.
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Walmart  (WMT) - Get Report announced that it was restricting all cross-border international travel to business-critical trips as the big box multi-national retailer responds to the global coronavirus outbreak.

Walmart’s chief people officer, Donna Morris, and chief medical officer, Dr. Tom Van Gilder, sent a note to Walmart associates Thursday them of the new directive.

“We continue to prioritize the safety of our associates, customers and business partners as we monitor the spread of the coronavirus disease around the world. Out of an abundance of caution, we are sharing additional guidelines pertaining to travel that are effective immediately,” the note partially read. “We expect these guidelines to be in place for at least the months of March and April, so plan accordingly.”

Cross-border business-critical trips must be approved by one of the company’s Executive Council members with the company making arrangements for the people involved in those trips to return to their home countries.

"Less essential" travel within the United States also will be restricted, the retailer said.

The company announced that it was canceling its U.S. Customer Conference that was scheduled to be held in Dallas next week with Thursday’s note saying, “It seems best to cancel given the size of that meeting, plus the benefit of having our store managers present in their stores during this time.”

Walmart will instead have a “virtual form of the meeting to share some key points.”

Nearly 98,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus across the globe and 3,200 fatalities have been reported. The outbreak began in Wuhan, China, late in 2019.

Walmart fell Thursday by 0.81% to $115.83.