For the latest advisories and health recommendations on how you can protect yourself and your family, please visit The World Health Organization at www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Our procurement team is in constant contact with our multinational network of over 400 suppliers, manufacturers, assemblers, distributors and other partners. While many local situations change daily, we can report the following current status updates:
Across the region, factory production is rising, with our flexible vendor partners making good progress on clearing delivery backlogs. Local restrictions are delaying shipments in Malaysia until June 9. This week, restrictions in Singapore and the Philippines are lifting, enabling deliveries. Across Australasia, businesses are reopening in carefully managed phases. A surge in online orders is leading to extended weekend deliveries.
A worrying rise in new cases this week has affected many countries throughout South America, although vendors are adapting and continuing to ship. Many countries are anticipating a significant second wave of infections in August. In just the last week, cases have risen to 514,000 in Brazil, the world’s second-most severely affected country. This is resulting in Brazilian deliveries being delayed until after June 6. Colombia, Peru and Chile have resumed quarantines due to rising case loads and while orders can still be accepted, local deliveries are being temporarily delayed. The Argentine quarantine has been extended to June 7, limiting deliveries. Members in Guatemala, Ecuador, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic continue to receive orders with minimal delays. Bolivia will be reopening borders this week, with localized restrictions affecting orders and shipping. In Mexico, members can now redeem for and receive a variety of iTunes gift cards. In the Caribbean, quarantines continue to delay shipments, affecting members in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Dominica, and in Antigua and Barbuda.
The stubborn rise of new cases has extended India’s lockdown in high-risk zones for another month. However, in lower-risk areas, malls and many businesses can now reopen as the government announced its ‘Unlock One’ phased relaxation. E-commerce and essential industries have fully resumed production, and courier services are operational. Across the country, new orders are shipping with minimal delays, and order backlogs are beginning to be fulfilled, with many orders in Mumbai being delivered this week.
In the US, all states have now begun reopening, although the recent tragic civil unrest and resulting curfews will potentially slow plans for large scale business resumption. Our reward order processing and deliveries continue uninterrupted.
The Canadian government has extended its closure of the US border to non-essential travelers until June 21. While each province is instituting different reopening phases, many non-essential businesses, retail stores and parks have begun to reopen with social distancing protocols. Canada Post is reporting the continued escalation of online shopping shipments, creating some temporary local delivery backlogs.
Africa and the Middle East
The UAE is isolating Abu Dhabi and restricting travel between nearby regions for 7 days, although local businesses and malls are reopening his week. Orders will not be affected, but deliveries may be temporarily delayed. Members in South Africa, Israel, Nigeria and Oman continue to place orders and receive rewards without delays as lockdown limitations are being lifted. Deliveries are resuming this week in Qatar. In Jordan and Kuwait, orders are being accepted, but a 12-hour curfew will delay shipments until later this week. A travel ban has been lifted in Turkey, enabling local deliveries.
Despite public and scientific objections, the UK is reopening schools and many stores today. Border blockades in Europe will end on June 15, allowing unrestricted travel throughout the Schengen Area of 28 states. Across Europe, our backlogs are being released and orders are shipping with minimal delays. The Spanish government has extended a national lockdown until June 21, but orders and shipments also continue to flow.
While numerous airlines have announced tentative flight resumption schedules for the next 6 months, cross-border quarantines will still affect travel plans for the balance of the year and beyond. Our travel team continues to receive many inquiries from members who are concerned about current travel bans and destination safety. We urge all members to visit the travel portion of their program site and review the cancellation policy that relates to their booking. If there is an opportunity to cancel directly on the website we would recommend doing so. If their travel is imminent, with the departure date outside of the cancellation policy window, please submit a cancellation request and we will work to see if a cancellation/refund is possible. Cancellations that would normally not qualify for a refund are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis with individual airlines, hotels and accommodations to support travelers during this time. If a member is currently at their destination and requires emergency assistance, they are encouraged to contact: (858) 999-8206 (MX Toll Free 800-681-5365, AU Toll Free 1-800-146-417, UK Toll Free 0-800-069-8735, JPN Toll Free 0800-222-1195)
Around the globe, event suspensions, postponements, cancellations, and other approaches are being announced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some events that are suspended or postponed today may eventually be cancelled, but event promoters may take days, weeks, or even months to make a final decision. For events that have been cancelled (meaning the event will not be held at its scheduled time, or any time in the future, OR it will be held without patrons in attendance) the member is entitled to a full refund of the purchase price, including delivery charges. You, nor the member, need to take any action, as our customer service team will email you with full refund details. Given the number of events impacted, we've been advised that members can expect to receive refunds within 4 weeks. As of June 1, 2020, many major events have been cancelled, while others have been suspended or postponed, rather than cancelled. These events – and orders associated with them are in a “pending” state and are treated as postponements. Until they are cancelled, we cannot issue a refund. Should the events eventually be rescheduled, any tickets purchased will be valid for the rescheduled event – as per standard industry policy. If and when any suspended or postponed events become cancelled, we will issue a refund.
We’re proud of how our supply chain partners continue to adapt and respond to this global pandemic. Our Customer Service and Client Success teams are fully operational, with no impact on performance or order responsiveness. If you have questions about your business, please contact your Client Success Manager. If you have an urgent order inquiry, please contact your Customer Care Team.
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