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Shiseido tells 8,000 workers to stay home

Companies take own precautions as government rules fail to provide clarity

Shiseido will have nearly a third of its Japanese workforce telecommute through at least March 6 and possibly longer. (Photo by Kaisuke Ohta)

TOKYO -- Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido is barring about 8,000 employees from coming into work for more than a week amid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, joining a growing list of companies taking precautionary measures as the number of cases ticks higher.

About 30% of Shiseido's Japanese workforce -- including the president and other executives, but not factory workers and sales staff -- are to stay out of the office from Wednesday through March 6, and potentially longer if necessary. Meetings may be handled via teleconference. The company previously encouraged employees to telecommute, but the new policy essentially makes it mandatory.

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