Twitter staff ordered to work from home over virus fears

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 12 2020 04:49 PM

The Twitter App loads on an iPhone in this illustration photograph taken in Los Angeles, California, US, July 22, 2019. Mike Blake, Reuters/File

SAN FRANCISCO - Twitter has ordered all staff globally to work from home in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly new coronavirus epidemic.

The outbreak has spread across the world since emerging in central China late last year, killing more than 4,600 people, infecting over 126,000 and prompting a wave of travel restrictions. 

The social media platform had already announced a mandatory work from home policy for its staff in South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan earlier this month and suspended "non-critical" business travel and events in February.

"We are moving beyond our earlier guidance... and have now informed all employees globally they must work from home," Twitter human resources chief Jennifer Christie said in a blog post late Wednesday. 

"We understand this is an unprecedented step, but these are unprecedented times."

Other internet giants have brought in their own policies to protect staff from infection.

Google began restricting visits to its offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and New York on Monday, while Apple has also encouraged employees to work from home. 

Facebook shut its offices in Singapore and London for "deep cleaning" last week after an employee who had spent time in both was diagnosed with the virus.