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Work / corporate travel bans - COVID-19

Work / corporate travel bans - COVID-19

Old Feb 11, 20, 3:37 am
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Work / corporate travel bans - COVID-19

Just curious if any other frequent travelers have had a corporate travel ban which we have just declared until at least March 15th?
I am cancelling several short and long haul trips as we speak which will likely have an impact on my travel patterns for 2020.
Although I have been SEN since the demise of Swissair and will be 60 in 2 weeks, I wonder how this will impact my re-qualification considering the changes to M&M in 2021.
Any views?
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Old Feb 11, 20, 6:53 am
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I think we are going to see a lot of Corporate travel bans as this pandemic continues
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Old Feb 11, 20, 1:14 pm
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My company, a large Swiss employer, has an active ban on China travel, which is not a good sign for my frequent traveler status given that this was one of my primary destinations for work travel.

The good news is that new cases continue to drop, and this may all be, while not over, probably more manageable in 3 months.
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Old Feb 11, 20, 1:36 pm
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This is quite common and frankly adviseable. Passing even the human risk issues, many large insurers are warning that they consider such travel to be reckless and beyond the scope of most coverage. I also expect that this means that reversing those bans at some point down the road will take a lot more than it did to put them in place.
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Old Feb 11, 20, 2:33 pm
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I would not be surprised to see more travel bans either, because people get so emotional about this story that logic and reason are left behind.

I can understand a travel ban or at least severe restrictions of travel to (some areas of) China, because going there significantly increases the risk to catch that virus. A complete travel ban however sounds to me like a "show off" or a PR trick or maybe an insurance cover issue, more than anything else, and I'm not a fan of either one of those.

If a company is truly worried about the health and wellbeing of their employees, then they should apply coherent measures which achieve the same (or at least a similar) level of reducing the risk.

That means that if they are serious about protecting your health and their reputation, then they should also forbid you to come to the office until mid March, and order you to work form home until then. Neither you nor your family should use any public transport or go out in public at all, because that carries a similar (or maybe higher) risk than travelling outside China does.
Just because there are no cases reported in a country does not mean that there are none, so there is no safe zone on this planet.

If they would then apply the same extremely low risk tolerance to all other areas, they should not allow you to use a bike, car, or even train ever again, stop you from eating fat or sugar and to reach a similar low risk of death then the corona virus, they'd have to forbid you to have a toaster.

Just out of curiosity: Did your company consistently ban travel at least to those countries with diseases with neither cure nor vaccination like Dengue and many others?
Following their current logic, I think that they should probably never have allowed anyone to travel at all, so I wonder what miracle had happened that you were always SEN .
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Old Feb 11, 20, 3:42 pm
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Insurers (often at the insistence of reinsurers) are insisting on this. Or at least on pain of denying coverage. The underlying facts are almost unimportant for a business sending its people in knowing that if anything does happen, they will pay 100% of the cost.
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Old Feb 12, 20, 5:56 am
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Thank you Lounge Lizard for your comments as they are very close to my reaction. In my many years in this copany it is the first time there is a travel ban and as your rightly state, there has never been a ban even during the SARS incidents.
Just as a side note in 2 weeks we have the Geneva Car Show which usually boasts over 700'000 visitors from around the world; I wonder how companies will control that !!
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Old Feb 13, 20, 2:05 am
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Originally Posted by Mozart0815 View Post
The good news is that new cases continue to drop, and this may all be, while not over, probably more manageable in 3 months.
1 day later and this dropped (From FRance24):
The number of deaths and new cases from China's coronavirus outbreak spiked dramatically on Thursday after authorities changed the way they count infections in a move that will likely fuel speculation that the severity of the outbreak has been under-reported.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 5:15 am
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Originally Posted by GBM.flights View Post
1 day later and this dropped (From FRance24):
This is exactly what drives me nuts on the current reporting on the coronavirus issue, everything has to be reported immediately and nobody even takes 5 min to give some context.

What I was able to understand after some googling: this "dramatic" spike (they could have used a different adjective, but well, whatever gets the clicks) is driven by a change in diagnostics measures. What seems to have happened is that they had capacity issues on the nucleic acid based virus detection scan, so they decided to also classify as infected anybody who showed a lung infection on a CT scan. So obviously this increases the numbers.

What we don't know if these "new" cases really all happened in the last 24 hours, or have only been just reported just now because of the new criteria and have accumulated over the last weeks.

If these really are all "new" cases we have a significant issue. Otherwise (and this seems the more likely scenario to me) we just had a underreporting (of about 40-50%) of cases over the past, but it doesn't mean that the trend of new infections going down we clearly observed over the last week is broken, and that the rather draconian measures taken in China are not working.

And let's not forget, a lung scan is a proxy, but cannot confirm that what you see on the CT is corona or just a regular pneumonia. So the new diagnosis method has its own flaws.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by Mozart0815 View Post

If these really are all "new" cases we have a significant issue. Otherwise (and this seems the more likely scenario to me) we just had a underreporting (of about 40-50%) of cases over the past, but it doesn't mean that the trend of new infections going down we clearly observed over the last week is broken, and that the rather draconian measures taken in China are not working.
I think it's very clear that this is a catch up since the methodology changed. But for that very same reason you also cannot say that the trend is down. You need to wait until you get more datapoints based on the new methodology... unfortunately.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 6:14 am
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Originally Posted by asimha View Post
Thank you Lounge Lizard for your comments as they are very close to my reaction. In my many years in this copany it is the first time there is a travel ban and as your rightly state, there has never been a ban even during the SARS incidents.
Just as a side note in 2 weeks we have the Geneva Car Show which usually boasts over 700'000 visitors from around the world; I wonder how companies will control that !!
Well, Barcelona had the World Mobile Congress in 2 weeks and has cancelled it. Once major companies started pulling out, the result was forgone.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 10:15 am
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My company (large US software) has a ban for mainland china and a "executive approval" policy for greater china in place. Everything else is normal.
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Old Feb 26, 20, 5:55 am
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Surprisingly (and our corporate travel ban has been extended to March 31st) the Geneva Car Show is still on ! Better stay home than roam the town
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Old Feb 26, 20, 6:30 am
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It's easy to distinguish MWC from the Geneva Auto Show. It's based on presenters, not on attendees. MWC showcases primarily Asian manufacturers, as a huge majority of mobile manufacturing and innovation is out of Asia. Once they started pulling out, attending MWC became pointless.

Geneva Auto Show isn't a boondoggle for Chinese auto manufacturers, and the huge tickets there are manufacturers in Europe.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 5:09 am
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Geneva car show has just been cancelled - as more and more Swiss companies introduce short term travel bans...
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