Major labels are beginning to place restrictions on international travel for their staff, in the face of the spreading coronavirus outbreak.
Billboard reported on a Universal Music Group internal memo explaining that “for the health and well-being of our staff, and in order to be a responsible member of the global community seeking to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have put in place new policies and procedures, including: Suspended international business travel until further notice; postponed internal employee conferences requiring travel; and continued to comply with the guidance of local governments, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control”.
Sony Music and Warner Music have also clamped down on travel to countries heavily affected by the outbreak, including China and Italy.
The news came as TikTok became the latest company to pull out of this month’s SXSW conference in Austin. “While we think the risk is relatively low, we are erring on the side of caution as we prioritise safety for our team, creators, partners, artists, and brands,” its spokesperson told Rolling Stone. Meanwhile, Google has cancelled the physical part of its I/O developer conference in May, while Amazon has confirmed that one of its Seattle employees has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.