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Managing the Commercial Impact of the Coronavirus: Update Regarding Corporate Travel Restrictions

Caution is appropriate. Preparedness is appropriate. Panic is not.” (~ U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, quoted this week)

The coronavirus (provisionally named SARS-CoV-2, with its disease being named COVID-19) has now been documented in more than 70 countries and territories. More than 90,000 cases have now been documented across the globe, resulting in nearly 3,200 deaths. In the United States, the coronavirus has impacted domestic and foreign travel, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Warning - Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) for travel to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy, and has issued an Alert - Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions) for travel to Japan. 

Many businesses across the globe have likewise now imposed restrictions on foreign and domestic employee travel, including a number of automotive companies. For example, Ford Motor Company has restricted non-essential domestic and international business travel until March 27, following the announcement that two of its employees in China have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Ford has announced that it will evaluate its travel restriction on a weekly basis.  Similarly, Fiat Chrysler has also limited all non-essential domestic and international business travel.  In the case of both Ford and Fiat Chrysler, any essential travel needs must be approved by a member of their leadership teams. General Motors has restricted travel to China, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. These automakers join a number of professional services firms and banks that have also restricted employee travel.  

With China being the world’s second largest economy, these travel restrictions are further evidence that the effect of the coronavirus extends – much like the coronavirus itself – far beyond its borders.

© 2021 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 65
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About this Author

Ann Marie Uetz Foley Lardner Debtor Representation Bankruptcy Lawyer Foley Lardner Detroit
Partner

Ann Marie Uetz is a partner and trial attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP, where she represents clients in a variety of industries in all aspects of their contracts and business disputes. She also represents debtors, creditors and secured and unsecured lenders in all facets of restructuring. Ms. Uetz focuses her practice on business litigation and bankruptcy, two of Foley’s practice areas recently ranked by U.S. News—Best Lawyers® as “national First-Tier” practices in recognition of excellence in client service.

Ann Marie heads Foley’s Coronavirus Task Force and...

313-234-7114
Vanessa L. Miller, Foley Lardner, Manufacturing Litigation Lawyer,
Partner

Vanessa L. Miller is a partner and litigation lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Ms. Miller’s practice focuses on a wide array of bet-the-company litigation, such as general manufacturing breach of contract and warranty disputes, automotive supply chain disputes, product liability lawsuits, trade secret claims, and railroad and rail transloading facility disputes. Ms. Miller also counsels clients on various commercial contract and product liability issues. She is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice.

313-234-7130
Kathleen Wegrzyn Commercial Transaction Lawyer Foley
Attorney

Kathleen (Kate) Wegrzyn (pronounced "Way Grin") (formerly Noble) is a senior counsel and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP and is a member of the firm’s Commercial Transactions & Business Counseling and Distribution & Franchise Practices and the Food & Beverage Industry Team.

Ms. Wegrzyn’s areas of focus include counseling businesses on general corporate and commercial matters, including commercial contracts, dealer arrangements, licensing issues, supply chain contracts, marketing and promotion agreements, and logistics...

414-297-5778
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