Starbucks to temporarily ban personal cups over coronavirus fears

Starbucks announced Wednesday that it will impose a temporary moratorium on the use of reusable personal mugs in its stores amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

The change is part of “a series of precautionary steps in response to this emerging public health impact,” company executive Rossann Williams said in an open letter Wednesday.

"Our focus remains on two key priorities: Caring for the health and well-being of our partners and customers and playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus," Williams added.

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Williams also outlined other steps the company has taken, including increased cleaning and restricting business-related air travel globally and domestically through the end of March.

She added that the company will continue to honor its 10-cent discount for people bringing their own personal cups.

The company has also made attendance for its annual shareholders meeting in Seattle virtual after the virus has killed at least 11 people in Washington state. The meeting will take place March 18 as originally planned.

"We will continue to stay close to our partners and local health officials, and we are optimistic this will be a temporary situation," Williams added.