Baker McKenzie has shut its London office due to a suspected outbreak of the coronavirus infection.
The law firm shuttered the 100 New Bridge Street office on Thursday afternoon as a pre-emptive measure, sending home more than 1,100 people.
RollOnFriday understands a person working at Baker McKenzie recently returned from northern Italy and is now unwell. Sources said the firm will make a decision on Sunday whether to re-open on Monday.
In a statement the firm told RollOnFriday, “Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our people and our clients and we have asked our London office employees to work from home for the time being while we are taking precautionary measures in response to a potential case of the COVID-19.”
”We have a well-established agile working programme - including sophisticated technology and IT systems for home working - which allows us to take these precautionary measures without impacting our client service delivery.”
“We continue to closely monitor the situation and are following the advice and guidance issued by the Government and Public Health England.”
Or, flee to a remote part of the Highlands.
It follows confirmation of over 16 cases of coronavirus in the UK. Earlier this week Chevron sent home 300 staff from its Canary Wharf office indefinitely as a precaution, as did two fellow tenants. Their landlord said they were exercising “an abundance of caution”.
Italy now has more than 500 cases of the virus, which authorities there said had so far killed 17 people.
UPDATE: The holidaymaker got the all-clear. A spokesman for Bakers said, “We’re delighted to confirm that our employee has tested negative for the COVID-19 virus and our London office has re-opened today. Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our people and our clients, and we took these pre-emptive measures out of an abundance of caution.”