Mar 3, 2020 - Technology

Tech firms ban travel and push remote work amid coronavirus outbreak

Illustration of a Newton's Cradle, with a virus cell about to hit the balls.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Tech companies are taking fresh action in hopes of preventing employees from getting exposed to the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: It's not clear what course the virus will take, but companies are trying to do what they can to keep running their businesses while minimizing risk for employees.

  • Salesforce is among the companies banning all international travel and most domestic travel.
  • Twitter is encouraging employees to work from home if they can and has pulled out of SXSW in Austin, Texas.
  • Facebook is limiting social visitors to its offices, and is following Twitter in scrapping plans to attend SXSW.

The big picture: A number of tech companies are converting in-person events to digital ones, including Google, with its Cloud Next conference; Adobe, with Adobe Summit; and Microsoft, with its MVP Summit.

  • The moves come on top of a spate of earlier industry conference cancellations, including Game Developers Conference, F8 and Mobile World Congress, along with a number of smaller events.

The other side: SXSW organizers are moving forward with the event, although they said they are meeting with health officials daily. (More than 28,000 people have signed a petition urging organizers to cancel the event.)

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