Amid global coronavirus outbreak, Cargill halts employees' international travel

Quarantine workers in protective suits check identity documents.
Quarantine workers check tourists from the Wuhan area off of a plane at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in central China's Hubei Province on Jan. 31, 2020.
Chinatopix via AP file

Cargill, the international agricultural company based in Wayzata, on Thursday said it is banning all nonessential international travel for its employees in response to the novel coronavirus.

It's a big change for the company, which has around 160,000 employees worldwide. Allan Johnson, the vice president of environment, health and safety at Cargill, said it was a challenging choice for a global company that operates in more than 70 countries.

“We have thousands of travelers all over the world. It's a substantial move to stop all that travel, but it's also the required move to ensure that our colleagues around the world can be safe in the work that they do,” said Johnson.

The company is offering alternative options for its employees, including holding more phone meetings and video conferences and allowing them to work from home.

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