UPDATE 1-Wells Fargo restricts domestic business air travel amid coronavirus outbreak

Imani Moise

outbreak@ (Adds details from memo)

NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co said on Thursday that it was restricting all non-essential domestic business air travel in the United States, due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

The bank will also start requiring executive-level approval for any travel deemed essential, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

In the memo, penned by Chief Operating Officer Scott Powell, Wells Fargo said it was taking the measure "out of an abundance of caution."

"Our first priority remains keeping Wells Fargo employees safe and well-informed, and doing what we can to help minimize potential spread," the memo said.

Like other U.S. banks Wells Fargo had earlier this week implemented restrictions on international business travel. Its tightened travel policy comes as several states across the U.S. start registering more cases of the new coronavirus.

New York City officials announced two more confirmed cases of the new coronavirus on Thursday, while U.S. deaths from the respiratory disease now stand at 11, all but one them in Washington state, which has a cluster of infections. The other death, announced on Wednesday, was in California.

More than 3,000 people have died worldwide of the disease, which originated in mainland China late last year. (Reporting by Imani Moise. Writing Anna Irrera. Editing by Franklin Paul and Steve Orlofsky)

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