General Motors tightens travel protocols as coronavirus spreads

Flags fly outside the General Motors world headquarters building.

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General Motors is tightening its travel protocols for employees as global cases of the coronavirus top 100,000, including at least 233 in the U.S. 

Domestic and international travel for GM employees effective Friday “requires senior leader approval,” a company spokesman told CNBC. The Detroit automaker previously required such approval for international travel. A travel ban for GM employees remains in effect for China, South Korea, Italy and Japan, according to the company.

The additional travel measures regarding the COVID-19 epidemic are in-line with GM’s crosstown rivals, however don’t limit travel to “essential” personnel. Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler earlier this week confirmed all international and domestic travel required leadership approval and should be prioritized to essential personnel only.

Global deaths related to the coronavirus totaled at least 3,383, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. At least 14 deaths have occured in the U.S., according to the CDC and state health officials.

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra Wednesday said the company has a task force of employees that is continuing to monitor the coronavirus, including employee safety and making contingency plans in an effort to reduce or eliminate production disruptions. She described the situation as “rapidly evolving.”

GM, Barra said, has enough parts to continue North American production uninterrupted “deep into this month.”

“We’re covered quite far into this month and every day they make that better, but it depends what happens around the world,” Barra told reporters during an “EV Day” for the automaker near Detroit. “The team will just keep adjusting.”

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