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From Hollywood to Detroit, pandemic tired companies are wary of Omicron

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Pandemic-tired companies struggled to assess the effects of a new omicron variant of the coronavirus on Monday. From Hollywood movie studios to airlines and automobiles, the industry is waiting for details to help determine how it affects their business and profits.

The World Health Organization warned on Monday that Omicron variants carry a very high global risk of infectious surges. Creepy investors wiped out about $ 2 trillion in global equities on Friday, but the market recovered to some extent on Monday.

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Countries have swiftly banned travel from southern Africa, where the subspecies was first discovered. Japan and Israel went a step further and announced a ban on all foreign visitors.

Some airlines have said they haven’t changed their schedule significantly, but industry sources say major airlines are swiftly trying to protect their hubs by curbing the movement of passengers from southern Africa. moved.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary was worried that some countries could close air travel, but there was no reason to cancel the flight. Lufthansa, the German flagship airline, said the flight was still well booked.

US President Joe Biden met with major retailers and CEOs of other companies on Monday to discuss how to move goods to shelves when the US holiday shopping season begins behind Omicron.

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Prior to the meeting, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon mentioned supply chain improvements, and retailers noted a 26% increase in shipping containers passing through US ports in the last four weeks.

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said Monday that it was too early to determine if Omicron would have any impact on the global supply chain.

The outlook for the rapidly prevailing variants has raised concerns about the reinstatement of restrictions that would close the region’s industry in 2020.

In Hollywood, where film and television production returned to pre-pandemic levels this summer thanks to strict health and safety measures, studios were waiting to learn more about this latest mutation in the coronavirus. ..

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“With COVID, the shape keeps changing. It’s like mercury — we can’t get it,” said a longtime producer of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” Dr. Neal Baer, ​​a doctor who was there, said.

“One is how well vaccination protects us, two is whether boosters are needed, whether boosters are useful, and three need to change vaccines to be effective against this. It will take a few weeks to know if there is a mutation. “

Attendance at the cinema has returned steadily since the summer, but a spokesman for the National Association of Theater Owners said the variant was still a concern, especially after the withdrawal of attendance associated with the Delta variant.

In the United States, a car factory was closed for two months last year. Even after resuming operations, automakers have shortened production schedules due to a shortage of semiconductor chips and other supply chain constraints. Automakers said it was too early to predict the effects of Omicron.

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“This is new,” said Lloryn love-Carter, a US spokeswoman for Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “Of course we are monitoring, but there are still a lot of fairly strict COVID protocols.”

General Motors, the largest automaker in the United States, has been closely monitoring and said the COVID-19 safety protocol is still in place at the plant.

“Given the widespread availability of safe and highly effective vaccines, we continue to strongly encourage employees to be vaccinated,” GM spokeswoman Maria Reinal said in an email. I mentioned in. “We will continue to review and adjust the protocol as new information about this variant becomes available.”

Toyota Motor Corp said US management will meet on Tuesday to discuss variants of Omicron.

“Currently we are in’information gathering’mode,” said Scott Vazin, Toyota’s US spokesman. “Most of our employees are factory-based, so we’ve never stopped COVID protocols such as social distance, health care, and masking.” (Report by Ben Klayman, Detroit, Dawn Chmielewski, Los Angeles. , Tim Hepher in Paris, additional report by Alex Alper in Washington, edited by Peter Graff, Bill Berkrot, Sandra Maler)

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From Hollywood to Detroit, pandemic tired companies are wary of Omicron

https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/from-hollywood-to-detroit-pandemic-weary-companies-cautious-on-omicron-2 From Hollywood to Detroit, pandemic tired companies are wary of Omicron

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