Corporate credit cards cut as companies up Covid responses

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Corporate credit cards cut as companies up Covid responses

Only two customers sit on a table at a restaurant in central Seoul on July 12, the same day in which a heighten social distancing regulation that only allows two people to gather was enacted. [YONHAP]

Only two customers sit on a table at a restaurant in central Seoul on July 12, the same day in which a heighten social distancing regulation that only allows two people to gather was enacted. [YONHAP]

 
With the number of daily Covid-19 cases above 1,000, corporate Korea is in emergency mode going as far as suspending company credit cards.
 
Fear of infection is reaching new highs as the July and August vacation season is upon us. Executives are on the edges of their seats, pumping out memos to their workers and coming up with ever more complex restrictions.
 
Samsung Electronics began a two-week “special quarantine period” from Friday.
 
Employees have to follow several guidelines.  
 
Company plastic use is suspended after 6 p.m. The main goal is to prevent employees from gathering in groups after work. It is also to limit meeting with non-company employees.  
 
If a meeting is unavoidable, the company said all employees should follow the government social distancing regulations, including no more than two people gathering after 6 p.m. in the greater Seoul area.  
 
Employees are recommended to spend their vacation only with family and at home, and the company asked employees to avoid places that are enclosed and crowded and avoid close contact with others.  
 
When visiting public places, the employees have to follow measures in place, such as the use of QR codes. When suspected of being infected with Covid-19, the employees have to immediately be tested.
 
In a notification sent out to employees, the company stressed immediate testing at the first hint of illness or after having been in contact with a person infected with Covid-19. It emphasized these rules are for younger people who tend to be more active and can be asymptomatic when infected.  
 
LG Electronics raised the ratio of employees working at home from 40 percent to 50 percent in July 8.  
 
Since July 12, it started prohibiting business trips both domestic and abroad, meetings outside of the company, employees dining out and group training.  
 
“We’re implementing high-level quarantine regulations not only to actively participate in social distancing but also to protect the safety and health of our employees,” said an LG Electronics spokesperson.  
 
Hyundai Motor has raised its work-at-home ratio since the fourth wave began.  
 
Previously, department team leaders could make 30 percent to 50 percent of their employees work at home. But since the resurgence, now all departments must follow the 50-percent rule.
 
SK companies have sent all but the most vital employees home. Employees are prohibited from gathering or going out drinking after work. The entry of outsiders to offices is being restricted.  
 
In the case of KT, at least 30 percent of each department is working at home, though some may increase the ratio of those sent home. Employees are not allowed to dine with workers from other departments, and the cafeteria is being operated in shifts.
 
All employees that are within the company have to wear face masks all times, while employees are encouraged to get inoculated.
  


BY KIM KYUNG-JIN [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]
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