Facebook bars employees from bringing friends and family to its offices and limits on-site interviews because of COVID-19 fears

  • Facebook is blocking employees from bringing social guests to work over coronavirus concerns.

  • The company is also switching to videoconferencing for job interviews when possible.

  • COVID-19 is causing mounting disruption to businesses around the globe.

  • Facebook previously canceled its F8 conference because of the viral outbreak.

Facebook is stopping employees from bringing social guests to work and cutting down on its on-site job interviews as fears mount over the spread of the coronavirus.

On Monday, Facebook spokesperson Anthony Harrison told Business Insider: "We are taking steps to reduce the risk to our employees from the emerging COVID-19 situation, including temporarily halting social visitors to all of our offices. We continue to welcome business visitors as usual."

Social guests are visitors to Facebook's offices who aren't there for a work meeting — an employee might bring along a friend or spouse to the office to give them a tour or go for a free meal in one of its cafeterias.

The company is also conducting job interviews through videoconferencing when possible, he added, but there will still be some on-site interviews.

Since its outbreak in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to dozens of countries around the world, sickening more than 88,000 people globally and killing nearly 3,000, with the vast majority of cases and deaths in China. It is also causing increasing disruption for global business, interrupting supply chains, and forcing the cancellation of major events.

Facebook recently canceled its F8 developer conference that was scheduled for May and set to be its biggest event of the year. It has also said that the production of its Oculus Quest virtual-reality headset has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

On Friday, Gizmodo reported that Amazon was putting all on-site job interviews on hold because of the coronavirus. Facebook's measures don't go that far but indicate the company is being increasingly mindful about the risks of virus transmission from visitors to its offices.