ECB tells staff to work from home in coronavirus test

FILE PHOTO: Specialists work on a crane in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Germany, January 23, 2020. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank has told most of its over 3500 staff to work from home on Monday to test how it could cope with a shutdown over coronavirus concerns, a spokesperson said Sunday.

The ECB has canceled most of its public events over the next month but said that its rate-setting Governing Council meeting would go ahead as scheduled on Thursday.

“The ECB has facilities in place for large scale remote working and Monday 9 March will serve as a precautionary test for the infrastructure but also for ECB staff in case such large scale usage of the facilities becomes necessary at some point,” a spokesperson said.

The ECB is expected to unveil further stimulus on Thursday to help the economy cope with consequences of the coronavirus outbreak as travel restrictions, falling stock markets and already evident breakdowns in value chains is sapping confidence.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi, editing by Louise Heavens