WEBASTO HQ SHUTS TO PREVENT CORONAVIRUS SPREAD

German automotive systems supplier Webasto has closed its global headquarters in Stockdorf, Germany after seven employees tested positive for Coronavirus.

The site will be closed until 11 February, with the firm’s 1000 employees working from home. Webasto’s decision to close for two weeks is in line with “the longest incubation period of 14 days assumed by experts for the virus,” according to company CEO Holger Engelmann.

Webasto CEO Holger Engelmann

The seven employees affected are reported to have contracted the illness following a series of meetings at the Stockdorf building. Five are German nationals and two are Chinese employees from the firm’s Shanghai office, who had been visiting Stockdorf.

Last week, Webasto reported that a further 122 employees have tested negative for the virus, but was awaiting results of several more.

The company said: “Up to now, Webasto has not experienced any restrictions in day-to-day operations due to the increased mobile work of the employees of the administration and development center.”

The firm does acknowledge, however, that “there are also tasks that cannot be done from home,” and is allowing 20 employees involved in testing and prototype construction for roof systems to return on a ‘voluntary basis’ from 4 February.

Engelmann said: “We have made this decision together with the works council after consultation with the responsible health authority.”

The firm claims that all buildings on the Stockdorf site have been professionally cleaned and disinfected by specialist staff.

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