Coronavirus: Meituan Provides 'Shields' To Customers; Viking, Princess, Stop Cruises

Viking, Princess Stop Cruise Trips

The coronavirus could have far-reaching effects on food delivery, travel and the economy as a whole, while the impacts on grocery inventory might be shorter-term. Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus around the world.

Tesco, the largest grocer in the United Kingdom, does not foresee a situation beyond a short-term shortage of specific merchandise as shoppers stash supplies, per its chairman, Reuters reported. “We and our competitors are refilling our supply chains as rapidly as ever we can; I think we’re unlikely to see anything more than very short-term temporary shortages of certain products,” said John Allan, who is also the CBI’s president.

On another note, food delivery firm Meituan is bringing customers a paper “shield” to help defend against the coronavirus, CNBC reported. The shield fans out to provide an “independent space” with a width of 20 inches. Shanghai and Beijing diners can get one of the covers at no cost with their orders. According to the food delivery company, the cover can shield food from water droplets that could originate from co-workers.

And to lessen the economic impact of the virus, the ECB has put forth new stimulus measures, The Associated Press reported. Christine Lagarde, the ECB president, said the economy was encountering a “major shock,” and that central bank responses made known on Thursday (March 12) were “almost surgically” geared toward places where monetary policy could assist. The ECB didn’t reduce interest rates as had been forecasted by many analysts, but it did say it was offering more inexpensive loans to banks over a long period to ensure that they have the necessary liquidity.

In other news, Princess Cruises will stop running its cruise ships for two months amid the spread of the coronavirus, CNN reported. The Grand Princess cruise ship has had two staffers and 19 travelers diagnosed with the virus. Cruise demand has greatly dropped, and health authorities have recommended that elderly travelers not go on cruises. Viking, another boat operator, said it would halt all river and ocean cruises before the beginning of May.



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.