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European Central Bank Announces Precautionary Measures Against COVID-19

The European Central Bank on Wednesday announced several precautionary steps, including postponement of some conferences, to protect its staff from risks linked to the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The central bank restricted all non-essential travel by Executive Board members and employees until April 20, when the situation will be re-assessed.

Thus far, there have been no registered cases of ECB employees with COVID-19, the ECB said.

All conferences except the press meet after the monetary policy sessions were also postponed or canceled.

The next Governing Council meeting for rate-setting is on March 12. The regular post-decision press conference will go ahead and it will also be livestreamed on the internet, the bank said in a statement.

The inaugural ECB Listens event, a part of the strategy review and was scheduled for March 26, is postponed.

The bank has also suspended visits to its premises and its public visitor centre for the same duration.

"With today's measures, we are taking steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff while maintaining a fully operational central bank and banking supervision function," ECB President Christine Lagarde said.

"The measures build on existing internal guidelines and constant communication with our staff, giving them advice about the virus and asking those who had been to affected areas to work from home for two weeks."

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