Sony Shutters Three European Offices Amid Coronavirus Scare

Sony Pictures Entertainment has shuttered three European offices after a London-based staff member returned from a coronavirus-affected area, Variety has confirmed.

Offices in London, Paris and Gdynia, Poland, have been closed for the remainder of the week, with all staff working from home. The directive was communicated to staff via an internal memo circulated this morning. The business has also instated a travel ban across APAC and parts of Italy, as revealed by Variety.

A Sony spokesperson has confirmed there are no positive cases within the business so far, but extreme precautionary measures are being taken to contain any potential illness.

“The health and well-being of our employees is of the utmost importance. We thought it was important to share with you that one of our London employees may have been exposed to coronavirus COVID-19 given recent travels to an affected area. Out of an abundance of caution, the London, Paris and Gdynia offices will be closed for the remainder of the week, and employees should work from home.”

Sony’s move comes after a wave of entertainment companies decided to rein in foreign travel and cancel crucial pitch events and company gatherings, including WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, Disney and Amazon, as well as Sony itself.

Several international events linked to the media, tech and entertainment sectors were canceled or postponed due to fears of coronavirus contagion. These have included film festivals such as Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Festival, Lausanne’s Think Cinema, and Greece’s Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, as well as events in adjacent areas such as Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the London Book Fair, and Google’s I/O developers conference.

The fate of the upcoming international TV content market in Cannes, MipTV, has yet to be revealed.


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