Equinix is heavily restricting access to its data centers in four countries, in an effort to minimize the risk of Covid-19 entering the facilities.

From today, March 23, "until further notice," visitors, customers, customer contractors, and non-critical Equinix vendors will not be permitted to enter the IBX facilities in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. All other Equinix data centers, except those in Asia-Pacific, will be appointment-only from March 25.

Equinix reception
– Equinix

Reducing risk

"This decision was made in accordance with our business continuity plans to minimize the risk of impact within our data centers while maximizing our ability to operate and maintain our services on behalf of our customers," Equinix said.

"Given the fluid nature of the current situation, the list of IBX locations with restricted access could change."

All Equinix data centers in EMEA and the Americas will continue to offer Smart Hands, Trouble, Cross Connects, and Inbound/Outbound Shipments, but the company asks that customers try to limit their requests to critical work only.

For business-critical requests that would normally involve a customer site visit, Equinix will 'evaluate fee waivers' for Smart Hands service on a case-by-case basis.

Equinix said that it hopes to complete all incoming orders, but moving forward standard delivery intervals will be suspended, and all customer-submitted tickets will be scheduled for completion on an individual case basis.

Across all facilities, anyone experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, including fever, or anyone that knows that they have been exposed to someone who has the coronavirus in the past 14 days, will not be allowed to enter the facility until advised by the company.

In areas with large numbers of confirmed cases of Covid-19, all visitors to the data center will be required to have their temperature checked by the security staff using no-contact infrared thermometers. Those with a body temperature above 37.3 degrees Celsius (99.1 Fahrenheit) will not be allowed to enter.

In the event that someone with Covid-19 does enter a data center, Equinix will temporarily suspend access to the data center and deep clean the site. The facility would be remote managed, Equinix said: "Our goal is to continue to operate our business seamlessly once the IBX is cleaned, taking measures to isolate and protect potentially affected employees."

The cleaning would be carried out by the contracted vendor for that site or a specialty vendor, subject to government directives or other relevant regulators, Equinix said. "The cleaning crew would be escorted by security staff and will not access customer spaces unless the area has been exposed to a confirmed case subject. If the customer uses Flex space as office space, then Equinix will enter customer Flex space to clean it. All efforts would be made to ensure a thorough and speedy cleaning process.

"In addition, Equinix continues to follow all local government regulations and public health guidance and if required, will suspend access to the site. If this occurs, Equinix is prepared to keep staff on site to support continuous operations. Equinix is also prepared to elevate access restrictions beyond France, Germany, Italy, and Spain during this fluid situation to support the health and safety of our employees and customers as well as the continuous operation of our sites."