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Best smartphones in Canada 2019 – MobileSyrup

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iPhone 11

While the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are Apple’s flagship, high-end smartphones this year, the standard iPhone 11 has a lot to offer, just like its predecessor, the iPhone XR.

The smartphone, unfortunately, lacks the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max’s OLED screen, instead opting for LCD. It also doesn’t feature the more premium design or third 12-megapixel 2x zoom lens, but still packs the functionality the average iPhone user likely cares more about.

This includes bright colours like ‘Green,’ ‘Purple,’ and ‘Yellow,’ along with the device’s excellent 12-megapixel f/1.8 wide and 12-megapixel f/2.4 ultrawide camera. The iPhone 11 also sports Apple’s excellent A13 Bionic processor, just like the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

While the iPhone 11 does have a few shortcomings, it’s the all-around best Apple smartphone for the average iPhone user.

The iPhone 11 is available for $979 outright for the 64GB version of the smartphone. For more on the iPhone 11, check out our review.

iPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max

The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, Apple’s 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch highest-end 2019 smartphones, have a lot in common with the iPhone 11. The devices ditch LCD screen technology for a modern OLED screen and feature a more premium design that includes a matte rear that’s resistant to dust, fingerprints and grease, as well as slightly smaller bezels.

The device also sports three shooters this time around, resulting in a sizable camera bump on its rear that looks far better in person than it does in pictures (trust us on that one). The three-camera array measures in as follows: a 12 megapixel, f/1.8, 26mm wide shooter, a 12-megapixel, f/2, 52mm telephoto lens and a f/2.4 13mm ultrawide angle camera.

All of these cameras combine to offer the best photography package Apple has ever included in an iPhone. The cameras are so good that they’re able to match the Pixel 4 in terms of quality in most situations.

The iPhone 11 Pro starts at $1,379, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,519, and check out the full review, here.

OnePlus 7T

OnePlus had a standout year where it stepped its devices up to the level of flagships from other manufacturers. While the OnePlus 7 Pro is the flashier of the two smartphones, with its pop-up camera and full-screen display, the lower cost OnePlus 7T is the handset most people should buy.

The 7T features the same excellent camera, screen and build quality as the 7 Pro, but has a cheaper price tag, and a slightly smaller size that makes it more comfortable to use.

The camera isn’t the only improvement that catapulted this device into flagship-level. The Chinese company implemented a high-end haptic engine that makes physically interacting with the handset a joy. Each keypress, copy/paste and back gesture swipe felt responsive and premium in a way that not many Android phones often are.

Since you spend most of your time interacting with the phone’s screen, this is one of the best improvements a manufacturer can make to a device. It’s also great that the smartphone runs Android 10 out of the box.

The OnePlus 7T retails for $799 in Canada. Read our review to discover what else makes this handset one of the best smartphones of 2019.

Samsung Galaxy S10+

It’s not shocking that both Samsung’s flagships made the list. While similar, they’re excellent in different ways. This is why both devices are getting separate entries this year.

The Samsung Galaxy S10+ features a candy bar design with rounded edges. Additionally, the phone sports dual front-facing cameras in the top right corner. What is cool is that Samsung didn’t design the Galaxy S10 with a notch or much of a top bezel. Instead, the phone features an Infinity-O hole-punch camera, optimizing the device’s screen real estate.

What’s probably the most celebrated design element of the S10+ is its 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom, giving users the choice to use standard headphones with the smartphone. The Galaxy Note 10+, on the other hand, doesn’t feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, making it Samsung’s first Note not to feature the port.

Spec-wise the handset features a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 1440 x 3040 pixel resolution, Snapdragon 855 chipset, up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of memory. On the rear, the phone sports a triple rear-facing camera setup with a 12-megapixel sensor and a variable aperture with sizes ranging from f/1.5 to f/2.4. Additionally, there’s another 12-megapixel camera with a f/2.4 aperture and 2x optical zoom, as well as a 16-megapixel ultrawide shooter that features f/2.2.

This handset also includes an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, allowing users to unlock the phone with just their thumb. The ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is a tad slower than the optical variants featured in phones like the OnePlus 7T, but this version of the technology is more secure.

The phone’s display quality is also superb, which makes videos and pictures look amazing on it.

Another great thing about the S10+ is the phone’s One UI Android skin. OneUI is intuitive, works great and is very different from Samsung’s beleaguered Touch Wiz.

The Galaxy S10+ starts at $1,219 at the Samsung Experience Store. You can read our review here to learn more about one of the best phones in Canada.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

The Note 10+ is very similar to the Galaxy S10+ in several ways, however, design-wise it’s quite different.

Instead of the rounded corners, the Note 10+ is far more rectangular. Additionally, the handset features a centred hole punch front-facing camera. Many prefer the Galaxy Note 10+’s form factor and camera placement and believe the phone is more comfortable to hold. Additionally, thanks to the rectangular display, the device sports even more screen real estate, coming in at 6.8-inches.

The camera setup in the Note 10+ is similar to the S10+, except the Note 10+ features a time-of-flight sensor for depth.

Additionally, the Note 10+ features an S Pen stylus with Bluetooth integration that allows for dedicated gestures and controls. The S Pen lets users navigate through the phone and snap pictures without holding the device. It’s also great for taking notes.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ outright costs $1,459.99. You can read our review of the smartphone here.

Huawei P30 Pro

Even though Huawei is dealing with several issues related to the U.S. government, the P30 Pro is a flagship smartphone with top-of-the-line specs, one of the best cameras on the market and an excellent battery.

The P30 Pro was able to squeeze out almost 17 hours of screen-on time just by using the phone’s battery saving settings.

The camera is capable of snapping pictures from 190 metres away thanks to its 50x digital zoom. Night images are also awe-inspiring and brighten up photos to make them clear, even in darkness.

The phone also features a curved display as well, so it fits perfectly in your hand.

Unfortunately, EMUI 9.1 isn’t the greatest, it’s advisable slapping a third-party launcher on the P30 Pro. The P30 Pro sports a 6.47-inch OLED display a 1080 x 2340 pixel resolution alongside a triple rear-facing camera setup.

The primary camera features a 40-megapixel sensor with an f/1.6 aperture, allowing users to take pictures in the dark. Additionally, it sports an 8-megapixel periscope camera with an f/3.4 aperture and up to 5x optical zoom. There’s also a 20-megapixel ultrawide camera and a time-of-flight sensor.

Furthermore, the P30 Pro features a 4,200mAh battery, an optical under-display fingerprint scanner and a waterdrop notch.

The P30 Pro is available outright for as low as $1,200. Check out our review of the device to learn more.

Google Pixel 4 XL

The Pixel 4 X — not the Pixel 4 to be specific — sports one of the best cameras on the market. It feels great when you’re holding it in your hand and sports a pure Android experience.

The Pixel 4 XL features top of the line specs, including a 6.3-inch display with a 1440 x 3040-pixel resolution and a fantastic 90Hz refresh rate. The higher refresh rate results in scrolling that feels incredibly smooth, making the phone a joy to use. In fact, after using the Pixel 4 XL, it’s hard to switch back to other handsets that don’t feature a high display refresh rate.

Similar to the Huawei P30 Pro, the device snaps fantastic pictures even at night thanks to its excellent ‘Night Sight’ mode. Furthermore, selfie pictures look great.

The device also sports face unlock, allowing users to authenticate and access the phone with just their face. Further, there’s Motion Sense, which works both passively and actively. Passively, for example, is when your alarm or a timer goes off and you begin reaching for your device. The phone automatically reacts and quiets the alarm. Motion Sense’s active functionalities include swiping to dismiss alarms, timers and changing songs in specific apps.

The Pixel 4 XL also receives Google’s updates right away, and sports a Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB of RAM and a fast-charging battery.

The Pixel 4 XL starts at $1,129. Check out our review of the smartphone, here.

LG G8X Dual Screen

The LG G8X is what we’d consider a sleeper hit. The device’s secondary display is great for multitasking, and it helps users play games like PUBG Mobile.

The G8X’s secondary screen attachment is an exact copy of the main phone’s 6.4-inch display. It even sports a waterdrop notch, which is odd considering there’s no camera in the secondary display.

The G8X rarely experienced any slowdowns even while jumping between apps. The phone can also easily survive the day with about 35 percent battery when the secondary screen is not attached.

LG designed the handset for mobile gamers or anyone who enjoys multi-tasking. You can use one screen with an app like Instagram and the other for Google docs, allowing you to work and play at the same time.

Additionally, the G8X features top-of-the-line specs, including 6GB of RAM, a 4,000mAh battery and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The phone costs $1,150 outright. You can find more about the LG G8X in our review.

Asus ZenFone 6 / ROG Phone II

The Asus ZenFone 6 sports a full display with a unique flip-up camera. Within the flip-up, the ZF6’s camera setup features a 48-megapixel sensor and a 13-megapixel sensor with an ultrawide angle lens.

The Asus ZenFone 6 also features a 5,000mAh battery with 18W quick charging. The phone’s battery lasts for nearly two days. Additionally, the phone features a Snapdragon 855 processor with Zen UI 6, along with a slim user interface that’s both intuitive and unobtrusive.

The ZenFone 6 costs $799 outright. If you want to learn more about this device, check out the review for the handset.

We’ve paired this for the ROG Phone 2 because that phone works similarly to the ZenFone 6 but is faster and lacks the flip-up camera.

The ROG Phone features a Snapdragon 855+ processor, with up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage (in Canada). The ROG Phone 2’s screen is also capable of refresh rates up to 120Hz, coupled with 240Hz touch sensing. Due to the high refresh rate, the handset’s display looks and feels incredibly smooth.

The display and touch sensing help make the phone feel incredibly quick, especially compared to other Android devices on the market. The touch sensing and refresh rate are especially great for gaming, offering an experience that is smooth and quick.

The ROG Phone 2 costs $1,482 CAD on Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy S10e

While it may not seem like much, Samsung’s ‘budget’ flagship is arguably one of the best smartphones of 2019. It gets a lot right and doesn’t break the bank.

First and foremost, the S10e is just a bit smaller than the S10 and S10+ thanks to its 5.8-inch display. But while the screen may be smaller, it’s still a large, excellent display. Plus, thanks to the small bezels, the S10e manages to feel more minuscule than it actually is. If you like small phones that aren’t actually that small, it’s a great way to go.

Plus, the S10e sports a ‘flat’ display instead of the curved ‘edge’ style seen on the S10 and S10+. Some may favour the curved screen, but I’m not a fan and the flat display is much easier to use.

The final note about the display is that the S10e features a hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera. Again, some might not like it, but compared to a notch, it looks way better. It’s one of the things that makes the S10e so unique and pleasing for me to use. The hole-punch really adds to the overall experience and looks fantastic.

All that said, the S10e isn’t perfect. It lacks the third telephoto camera found on its bigger brothers, it has a smaller 3,100mAh battery, and it doesn’t have an in-screen fingerprint scanner. However, for the price, these are all things that are easy to forgive for excellent performance, great in-hand feel and a superior price.

You can find the S10e for $869.99 outright in Canada or for as low as $0 on a plan with most major Canadian carriers. Check out the review for the S10e here.

Honourable Mentions

Google Pixel 3a

While the Pixel 3a might not be one of the best phones of the year spec-wise, when it comes to value, it’s incredible. And if you like quick Android updates, then the 3a series delivers.

Additionally, it packs a fantastic camera, great battery life and most of the awesome Pixel-specific features like Google’s ‘Now Playing’ passive music detection software, camera software like Night Sight, and much more. It even has a headphone jack!

It might be missing wireless charging and premium-feeling build quality, but if you can look past some of these shortfalls, it’s an excellent phone at a reasonable price.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

While Samsung’s Galaxy Fold isn’t a perfect smartphone, the fact that a device with a foldable display is finally available in Canada is something to be excited about. While the pricey smartphone initially wasn’t set to make its way to Canada following a string of issues related to the device’s display, Samsung changed its plans and dropped the Fold here in early December.

Despite its several drawbacks including the Fold’s thickness, price tag and lack of other features currently featured in other modern smartphones like water-resistance, Galaxy Fold is an undeniably exciting smartphone. The Galaxy Fold costs $2,635 and is only available at Samsung Experience stores across Canada.

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Security researcher says to 'stop buying' Samsung phones – Tom's Guide UK

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SAN FRANCISCO — Don’t use a mobile authenticator app on an old smartphone, because the app is only as secure as the operating system in which it’s running, two security researchers said at the RSA Conference here earlier this week.

In fact, one of the researchers says to avoid Samsung phones altogether.

Aaron Turner and Georgia Weidman emphasized that using authenticator apps, such as Authy or Google Authenticator, in two-factor authentication was better than using SMS-based 2FA. But, they said, an authenticator app is useless for security if the underlying mobile OS is out-of-date or the mobile device is otherwise insecure.

“You don’t want the risk associated with 32-bit iOS,” said Turner, adding that you should use only iPhones that can run iOS 13. “In Android, use only the Pixel class of devices. Go to Android One if you can’t get Pixel devices. I’ve had good experiences with Motorola and Nokia Android One devices.”

And he warned the audience to stay away from one well-known Android brand.

“[German phone hacker] Karsten Nohl showed that Samsung was faking device updates last year,” Turner said. “Stop buying their stuff.”

The problem is that if an attacker or a piece of mobile malware can get into the kernel of iOS or Android, then it can do anything it wants, including presenting fake authenticator-app screens. 

“One of my clients had an iPhone 4 and was using Microsoft Authenticator,” Turner said, indicating another authenticator app. “All an attacker would need to do is to get an iPhone 4 exploit. My client was traveling in a high-risk country, his phone was cloned and then after he left the country, all sorts of interesting things happened to his accounts.”

Some Android phones are safer than iPhones

And don’t think iOS devices are safer than Android ones — they’re not. There are just as many known exploits for either one, and Weidman extracted the encryption keys from an older iPhone in a matter of seconds onstage.

The iPhone’s Secure Enclave offers “some additional security, but the authenticator apps aren’t using those elements,” said Weidman. “iOS is still good, but Android’s [security-enhanced] SELinux is the bane of my existence as someone who’s building exploits.”

“We charge three times as much for an Android pentest than we charge for an iOS one,” Turner said, referring to an exercise in which hackers are paid by a company to try to penetrate the company’s security. “Fully patched Android is more difficult to go after.”

Attacking from underneath

Authenticator apps beat SMS texted codes as 2FA second factors because app codes can’t be intercepted over the air, aren’t tied to a phone number and never leave the device. But authenticator app codes can be stolen in phishing attacks, and as we saw yesterday, by Android malware in screen-overlay attacks.

However, even the best training against phishing attacks and the best Android antivirus apps won’t stop attacks that come from the kernel, the underlying part of the mobile operating system to which the user doesn’t have access.

“What could possibly go wrong when installing a user-mode application with sensitive cryptographic key materials on a platform with kernel vulnerabilities?” Turner asked rhetorically.

Kernel vulnerabilities also can be used to hack two-factor push notifications, which Google uses for its own accounts and which can’t be phished. 

In short, “we need to move away from usernames and passwords,” Turner said.

Fingerprints aren’t the answer, but this might be

Asked about biometric authentication such as fingerprint readers and facial recognition, Weidman said that it’s “better than nothing when used in addition to passwords.”

Turner wasn’t so sure.

“I am fundamentally opposed to using biometrics because it’s non-revocable,” he said, citing a famous case from Malaysia in which a man’s index finger was cut off by a gang to steal the man’s fingerprint-protected Mercedes. “Fingerprint readers are biometric toys.”

The only form of two-factor authentication without security problems right now, Turner said, is a hardware security key such as a Yubikey or Google Titan key.

“I’ve got two Yubikeys on me right now,” Turner said. “Hardware separation is your friend.”

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PS5 might get an amazing controller feature that the Xbox Series X can’t match – BGR

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Sony is under a lot of pressure to unveil the PlayStation 5, or at least some new details about the upcoming console, as Microsoft is already way ahead. The Xbox Series X name and design were revealed in mid-December, and the company just shared many of the console’s next-gen specs this week. Both were complete surprises, as Microsoft hijacked an awards show to reveal the console’s design last December, and then suddenly dropped a blog post that featured a deep dive into the Xbox Series X’s hardware this week.

While we wait for Sony’s moves, which will likely be affected by the coronavirus outbreak that prompted the cancelation of several major events, with Sony itself pulling out of at least three trade shows so far, we do have more exciting PlayStation news for you. Unlike Microsoft, which has controlled the narrative, Sony’s innovations have leaked at a steady pace. And the newest finding is more exciting than any of the previous ones, as it details a controller feature that would give the new PlayStation a huge advantage over the Series X.

Not all of the patents we’ve seen online will end up becoming features of the PlayStation 5, but patents do provide plenty of information about Sony’s vision for the future of gaming. It’s thanks to patent leaks that we learned about the design of the PS5 dev kit last year. And other patents revealed plenty of interesting potential PS5 features, like a voice-based digital assistant that would provide help in real-time, rear-facing buttons, or support for biofeedback on a future DualShock 5 accessory.

The newest Sony patent, found by SegmentNext, details a feature that you may have been dreaming of: Wireless charging support for the DualShock controller.

A PS5 concept a few months ago imagined a PS5 console that would feature a built-in wireless charging coil near the top, where the DualShock controllers could be placed when not in use (image above). That’s not how the latest patent describes the tech working, however — here’s the relevant portion of the patent:

A wireless charging adapter that can snap onto a computer game controller can be inductively coupled to a charging base to wirelessly recharge a battery in the controller. The adapter also can include keys that mirror keys on the controller so that a gamer can remove the adapter with controller from the charging base, keep the adapter on the controller, and use both the controller keys and adapter keys to control a computer game.

The wording above suggests that the DualShock 5 won’t necessarily feature components that would allow wireless charging. Instead, you might have to buy an accessory for it. But the document also suggests that once applied, the accessory can stay on during gameplay, as it’ll feature button duplicates so that you can continue using the controller while it’s charging.

Sony is also considering a scenario where the gamer would keep the charging accessory on the charging mat, and hook the controller with a wire to that accessory to continue playing. That doesn’t sound very user-friendly.

The fact that Sony is looking at an accessory indicates that the DualShock 4 could be turned into a controller that can charge wirelessly with the help of the same device.

The best way to charge DualShock 5 controllers would be, of course, via USB-C, but Sony has yet to confirm whether the console will feature any USB-C ports. An accessory maker already announced an SSD drive for consoles that would need a USB-C port to deliver the fastest theoretical speeds possible, though.

As with previous Sony gaming-related patents, there’s no guarantee the gadget described in this new patent will ever be made. But it certainly makes sense to see Sony looking at wireless charging solutions for DualShock controllers, given that wireless charging tech adoption has been increasing in recent years.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he’s not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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Amazon halts all employee travel, Google adds new restrictions due to coronavirus – TechRepublic

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Amazon bans all nonessential employee travel in the US and internationally, and Google expands travel restrictions after an employee is stricken with coronavirus.

In an unexpected move, both Amazon and Google announced new restrictions Friday on employee travel due to concerns over coronavirus and COVID-19, the illness the virus causes.

Amazon has asked all of its 798,000 employees to stop all nonessential travel, both domestic and internationally, immediately, according to an Amazon spokesperon. This is after Amazon already restricted employee travel to China earlier this month.

The cancellations are due to fear of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The CDC has now 64 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, including 47 cases among repatriated individuals. The latest two cases in the US are individuals in northern California and they both have contracted the disease from unknown sources, making them the first possible “community spread” instances of the disease in the US. So far, there have been 2,867 deaths from coronavirus around the world, and there are 83,861 cases globally. Hospitals in the US and the UK are preparing for a coronavirus outbreak.

Travel also restricted for Amazon employees on worldwide team 

The New York Times reported on Friday that Amazon employees on its worldwide operations team, which oversees technology and logistics, were told not to plan any meetings requiring travel until at least April, when the company hoped to have a better sense of the outbreak’s impact.

SEE: Coronavirus having major effect on tech industry beyond supply chain delays (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Google expanding employee travel restrictions

Google has expanded its employee travel restrictions, now adding South Korea and Japan to the list of areas that already included China, Iran and two Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto. This occurred after a Google employee tested positive for coronavirus, according to the company. 

More for CXOs

“We can confirm that one employee from our Zurich office has been diagnosed with the coronavirus,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “They were in the Zurich office for a limited time, before they had any symptoms. We have taken —- and will continue to take — all necessary precautionary measures, following the advice of public health officials, as we prioritize everyone’s health and safety.”

Google also announced that it is canceling its Google News Initiative Summit because of concerns over coronavirus. The conference had been scheduled for late April in Sunnyvale, Calif. 

“We regret that we have to cancel our global Google News Initiative summit but the health and well-being of our guests is our No. 1 priority,” Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google, said in a statement.

Google has not yet announced any plans to cancel its own annual developer conference, Google I/O, scheduled for May 12-14 in Mountain View, Calif. 

Tech conferences around the world impacted

Meanwhile,
tech conferences around the globe
have been either cancelled, postponed, or have had significant exhibitors pull out for fear of coronavirus.

“The coronavirus has caused record-breaking event cancellations and postponements worldwide. Compared to last February, there is a 500% increase (and growing) in the cancellation or postponement of significant events. This past month (February 2020), we have seen more than 220 significant and major events between 5,000 to hundreds of thousands of attendees be cancelled or postponed. To give context, there were just 45 significant and major events canceled or postponed in February 2019. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg – we can all expect to see more global events cancelled in the coming months related to the coronavirus concerns,” said Campbell Brown, CEO and co-founder, PredictHQ.

Some of the major conferences cancelled in the past few weeks include Mobile World Congress, which PredictHQ’s data puts the event’s direct economic value at $5 million, Cisco Live Melbourne, Facebook’s annual marketing conference, DEF CON China and the Tokyo Marathon.

How to handle changing travel plans amid an outbreak

The quick-changing travel plans amid an outbreak like COVID-19 can make it difficult for companies to juggle employee travel plans and schedules.

In early February, before tech conferences began being canceled, and before companies started pulling out of events, companies were already limiting employee travel to China. At that time, Martin Ferguson, vice president of public affairs at American Express Global Business Travel, told TechRepublic’s Veronica Combs that he was seeing an increase in clients stopping all nonessential business travel to, from and within Wuhan and mainland China as well as areas surrounding mainland China. Some companies were also asking employees to work from home for two weeks after traveling to China as a precaution. 

With uncertainty affecting many of the decisions being made right now, companies need to keep employee travel plans flexible. For companies that are still allowing travel, request that employees book airline fares that can be canceled or rebooked without penalty, and hotel rooms that can be canceled without penalty. This way, if a conference or event is canceled, the company will not incur additional costs as a result of the employee canceling their trip.

Also, keep schedules flexible. For any upcoming conferences that have yet to be booked, wait. Watch the website for the conference daily to see if the main sponsors are still attending, and if any news is released about the event. Ask employees to wait as long as possible before booking airfare and hotel.

To encourage travel, some airlines are offering free flight cancellations or changes on all newly-booked flights. JetBlue is offering free flight cancellations or changes on all flights booked between February 27 and March 11, if the flight is completed by June 1, 2020, and the credit can be used for future travel. Alaska Airlines is also allowing new tickets booked from February 27 through March 12 for travel through June 1, 2020 to be cancelled or changed and the funds used for future travel. 

SEE: Policy pack: Guidelines for remote workers (TechRepublic Premium)

What to tell employees regarding travel and the coronavirus

As previously reported in TechRepublic, Emma Follansbee, an associate at The National Law Review, recommended what employers should do, and what they should avoid, when discussing travel and the coronavirus with employees:

  • Provide education and information on the virus  — Be brief and repeat what official sources have stated without adding information.The communication goal is to instill confidence in employees that the company is taking proactive steps as necessary
  • Reinforce sick leave policies — The flu season has been worse than usual in the US this season. This is a good time to reiterate sick leave policies. Follansbee also recommends training managers to send people home if they are sick.
  • Consider a temporary travel opt-out policy — Employers should consider temporarily suspending travel directly to a region with a high number of coronavirus cases. Follansbee also suggested that companies consider requiring employees traveling to or from the infected regions to refrain from reporting to work.
  • Don’t offer medical opinions and misinformation: Take a “less is more” approach.
  • Don’t institute employee medical examinations and quarantines: Employers that isolate or quarantine employees when public health agencies have not yet done could be violating protections under the Americans With Disability Act, medical privacy laws, and state wage and hour laws.                  
  • Don’t use selective enforcement of travel opt-outs: This policy must be applied equally across all employees. For example, employers cannot require pregnant or disabled employees to opt out of travel, while requiring other employees to continue traveling to a region. 

Also see 

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Amazon has halted all employee travel due to the coronavirus.

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Amazon has halted all employee travel due to the coronavirus.

Image: Smith Collection/Gado / Getty Images

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