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Walmart announces international travel restrictions due to coronavirus concerns

Walmart is the latest company to restrict international travel over coronavirus concerns.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is restricting international travel and canceling a Dallas meeting as they monitor the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

A memo was released by Walmart on Thursday (Mar.5). 

"We continue to prioritize the safety of our associates, customers and business partners as we monitor the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) around the world. Out of an abundance of caution, we are sharing additional guidelines pertaining to travel that are effective immediately. We expect these guidelines to be in place for at least the months of March and April, so plan accordingly. We’ll continue to provide updates as things develop."

Walmart is asking employees who are currently traveling to work with management to plan their return.

The Walmart U.S. Customer conference scheduled for Dallas next week has also been canceled. 

"In the U.S., we are cancelling the Walmart U.S. Customer Conference (formerly Year Beginning Meeting) that was scheduled to be in Dallas next week. It seems best to cancel given the size of that meeting, plus the benefit of having our store managers present in their stores during this time."

Walmart is an international company that does business across the world. Other companies are taking similar stances on travel, including Facebook, Amazon and Google.

The CDC is recommending avoiding all nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy, and says older adults or those with chronic medical conditions should postpone travel to Japan. 

This comes after the Senate passed an $8.3 billion measure to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak. 

Senator Tom Cotton released the following statement after the Senate passed emergency funding to help combat the coronavirus: 

“Today the Senate voted to provide additional support to federal, state, and local governments in their fight against the coronavirus. This bill contains funding to expand testing across the country, develop therapeutic drugs, and speed development of a vaccine. This emergency funding—combined the January travel restrictions for which I advocated—should give the administration the initial tools they need to protect Arkansans and our nation from this virus.”

Senator John Boozman released the following statement after the Senate's decision saying in part:

“Americans are understandably on edge as more cases of the coronavirus appear in the U.S. and the death toll continues to rise around the globe. My colleagues and I understand this anxiety, and have come together to step up efforts to prevent the spread of the disease, treat those infected and support research to find a vaccine."

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