Italy's UniCredit is to shut down 70% of its branch network as staff succumb to the Coronavirus outbreak sweeping the country.
Italy has been on lock-down for several weeks as the Covid-19 bug rips through the populace. The country is second only to China in the number of infections and has recorded the highest number of fatalities worldwide.
With staff thin on the ground, UniCredit says that less than 30 per cent of its network of 3900 branches will remain open. The designated branches will be open in the morning on alternate days and accessible by appointment only for pre-agreed services.
UniCredit is also providing protection to all employees working in the open branches, including plexiglass separation screens, masks, disinfectant gel and gloves.
"The health and well-being of employees and customers is UniCredit's top priority," the bank says in a statement. "UniCredit has taken decisive actions to guarantee Italian-wide service coverage for its clients while protecting the health of both its employees and customers."