Amazon has told its staff globally to work from home for the rest of this month if they can in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The advice applies to staff across its operations from offices to fulfilment centres, CNBC has reported.

An Amazon spokesman told CNBC: “We continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve. As a result, we are now recommending that all of our employees globally who are able to work from home do so through the end of March.”

Many Amazon workers, such as those in warehouses or delivery couriers, will not be able to work from home because of the nature of their jobs.

The etailer has created a $25m relief fund that will allow such employees to claim grants worth up to or equal to a fortnight’s salary if they are infected by coronavirus.

Amazon will also pay people diagnosed with coronavirus or who have to self-isolate with up to two weeks’ pay and it is offering unlimited unpaid time off for all hourly staff until the end of the month.

UK retailers generally are taking measures to ensure smooth operations in case of lockdown of all or part of the country as coronavirus hits. Several intend to, or have already, run ‘rehearsals’ when head office and other staff have been asked to work from home as part of contingency planning.