Coronavirus causes business travel issues for Americans in China

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The U.S government is now warning Americans to reconsider travel to China due to the deadly Coronavirus.

As of Tuesday, the warning is at a level three, just one step before authorities can tell people to not travel to a specific area.

This makes it a bit tricky for foreign business dealings. John Scannapieco knows, Chair of the Global Business Team at Baker Donelson, he works with companies looking to do business in the United States.

He sent out a notice Tuesday to his clients, referencing the more than 4,500 hundred cases and more than 100 deaths from the Coronavirus.

In that notice, he writes that those who are coming back to the U.S for the Chinese New Year holiday should be fine to come home as long as they’re not symptomatic. He sites conversations with the State Health Department.

“Maybe if they can work from home, have them work from home in the incubation period,” Scannapieco said.

However, if you are in China for a business dealing and come home to the U.S with a cough, runny nose, fever, nausea and/or you’re short of breath, you need to call the health department right away– avoid the hospital. The health department will then arrange for testing to be done.

Scannapieco notes if you have a scheduled business trip to China in the near future, you may want to think twice and those who are in China right now on business– probably should come home now.

​”Think long and hard about sending anyone [overseas],” Scannapieco said. “I would try to reschedule those trips.”

Due to travel restrictions and the extended Chinese New Year holiday, many will not be able to return to their companies in China, possibly for weeks.

​”People are now are stuck in place in their communities wherever they went during the holidays so what’s going to happen instead of coming back to work and starting business again you’re going to have probably anywhere from a week to two weeks in delays to getting people back to work,” Scannapieco said.

That’s going to impact business down the line, he says, telling News 2 we can expect delays in supply along with decreased spending in Asia. In addition, Scannapieco says if your business operates in China, you may see a dip in sales because people are staying inside.

“We’re likely going to see delays in delivery or outright failed delivery under contracts, which can cause problems through the supply change,” he said. “Even if the products get made, a lot of transport has been shut down, so goods can’t get from manufacture to the port to get exported​.”

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