Amazon says it has stopped receiving orders for nonessential products at its sites in Italy (amazon.it) and France (amazon.fr) as part of its efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
“As customers use e-commerce to support their social distancing efforts, we have also implemented a social distancing guide in our compliance centers to keep our employees safe and healthy,” said an Amazon spokesperson in Italy at a statement emailed to The Verge. Customers can still order many of these products from outside vendors who can ship directly to customers, the spokesperson added. Essential products would include food and hygiene items, he said.
The company says the move will allow “fulfillment center associates to focus on receiving and shipping the products customers most need right now.”
A notice on Amazon.it on Saturday said: “We are prioritizing the most requested products and some items may not be temporarily available. We appreciate your understanding at this time when we prioritize the products customers most need. All confirmed orders will be delivered regularly. “
At least five workers at Amazon warehouses in Europe have tested positive for coronavirus, Bloomberg reported. Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Italy went on strike on March 17 to protest what they saw as inappropriate company action to protect them from infection.
Italy has been one of the areas most affected by the coronavirus with more than 53,000 infected people and more than 4,800 deaths, according to the New York Times. On Saturday alone, the country reported 793 new deaths, the Times reported.