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Any domestic and international travel must be approved and will be limited to “business-essential” purposes — which, given the growing likelihood of film festival, premiere and other event cancellations, might turn out to be a moot consideration.
There is no “ban list” of specific countries — rather, the default position is that all employees remain grounded for now (again, given airline and government travel restrictions for certain countries, business travel already has been impacted for some employees, such as those in CAA China).
In addition, the agency is asking its reps to meet with clients and other business associates via teleconference, phone and other virtual means rather than bringing them into the office, which remains open to employees. Obviously, the company is encouraging those who feel under the weather to work remotely or seek medical attention.
CAA will revisit this policy in two weeks or sooner, as the spread of the epidemic is a developing situation.
APA has similar travel and in-person meeting restrictions in place.
Meanwhile, A3 (the recently rebranded Abrams Artists Agency) also has restricted travel, with all itineraries reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and is encouraging its employees to set virtual meetings (via platforms such as Zoom). The company originally had a team of agents set to attend SXSW but has now pulled all of its presence from the upcoming festival (which also has seen pullouts from Apple, Facebook and Twitter). A3 has an emergency communications plan in place to send urgent messages to employees via text outside business hours, and is monitoring CDC and other coronavirus updates on a daily basis and will adjust its protocols accordingly.
Several Gersh agents also have canceled their SXSW plans, with the agency limiting travel to business-essential purposes and restricting it in impacted countries.
Buchwald reported Thursday that in addition to encouraging client meetings via video conference, distributing sanitizer to all staff and cleaning the office more thoroughly, it is suspending all business travel until further notice, preparing its systems for remote access, instructing clients on how to self-tape from home and providing paid sick leave for any employees who come down with COVID-19.
March 4, 6:32 p.m. Added APA and A3 plans.
March 5, 6:47 p.m. Added Buchwald policy.
March 5, 7:13 p.m. Added Gersh plans.
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