London joins coronavirus work-from-home trend as Chevron sends traders home over sick employee

February 26, 2020, 10:11 AM UTC

Chevron Corp. asked traders and other staff at its Canary Wharf office in London to work from home as a precaution after an employee was tested for the coronavirus, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The employee had flu-like symptoms and coronavirus hasn’t been confirmed, the person said.

“Chevron continues to monitor the situation very closely, utilizing the guidance of international and local health authorities,” the company said Tuesday in an emailed statement. “Our primary concern is the health and safety of our employees and we are taking precautionary measures to reduce their risk of exposure.”

London’s energy industry has been gripped with concern over the virus, with dozens of events canceled at International Petroleum Week, Europe’s most important annual gathering of traders and executives. While only 13 cases, with no fatalities, have been recorded in the U.K., the surge in cases in Italy indicates that more may be on the way.

Canary Wharf on London’s east side is home to headquarters of some of the world’s biggest banks, including HSBC Holdings Plc and Barclays Plc. Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., BP Plc, and Total SA also have a presence in the area.

Asia’s energy trading hub was impacted two weeks ago when Royal Dutch Shell Plc sent home some staff from its trading desks in Singapore after an employee had contact with a coronavirus case. And in the U.S., next month’s CERAWeek conference in Houston is expected to feel the weight of coronavirus precautions. The event, organized by IHS Markit, may see lower attendance at the five-day event following a U.S. government proclamation barring entry to foreign nationals who have recently traveled to China.

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