Friday, May 8, 2009

Effect of Swine Flu Change Travel Policy

Over the last week health officials globally have confirmed over 1000 cases of H1N1 swine flu in more than 20 countries. Authorities have reported the largest number of cases from Mexico followed by the USA (mainly in New York) and Canada.

The World Health Organization's current Pandemic Alert is at Phase 5 (out of 6), indicating limited human-to-human transmission of this particular influenza virus with the risk that community level transmission could still occur.

While the risk of exposure to the virus is currently low, we are monitoring the situation to
ensure that we can avoid unnecessary exposure for any Lenzing Group employee who has to undertake international business travel.

The authorities in each country are issuing regular travel guidance updates which currently recommend:

  1. deferring all non-essential travel to Mexico until further notice.
  2. deferring non-essential travel to areas of the US where person to person
  3. transmission has taken place (eg New York City).
  4. requesting individuals who are ill to delay travel plans
  5. ensuring returning travelers who become ill seek appropriate medical care.
Although the situation is changing rapidly, all Lenzing Group travelers should observe the above general travel advice and should take into account the guidance of the authorities in the countries they are travelling to and from and defer travel if necessary.

Employees who have further questions about particular travel arrangements which might include visiting an infected area should contact their Local Human Resources team for direct advice.

In addition, any employee who is planning to travel to an infected area on vacation should contact their Local Human Resources team for advice prior to travelling and certainly before returning to work.

Mike Proctor
Global Human Resources Director

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