We have been actively monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and implementing measures to help protect the health and safety of everyone who passes through our test centers. Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our employees and the millions of testing candidates we deliver exams to around the world.
The COVID-19 impact is presenting us with extraordinary challenges in providing a safe working and testing environment for our employees and candidates. In addition, we’ve started to run into difficulty supplying our test centers with the necessary hygienic items, such as hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and tissues.
In light of the recent announcements by President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau, continued government guidance, and with careful consideration, we have decided to temporarily close our company-owned U.S. and Canada-based Pearson Professional Centers (PPCs) starting March 16, 2020 for at least 30 days until April 16, or whenever conditions are deemed safe to re-open. We will begin candidate cancellation notifications in the afternoon of March 16 (CDT), which will provide instructions for scheduling new appointments on or after April 16, 2020.
As you know, this situation is incredibly fast-paced and fluid, with new information emerging daily. We are continually evaluating government guidance and the safety status of our testing operations in other regions and are currently evaluating Mexico, Central America, South America, EMEA and APAC conditions.
We also recognize that the threat of the virus may not be contained by the date we intend to reopen our U.S. and Canada-based testing centers (April 16, 2020). We will continue to monitor government guidance and notifications from public health officials to be sure we can safely serve our employees and candidates as soon as local conditions allow. While we encourage our third-party test centers to follow government guidance, test centers ultimately determine their test center operations independently of Pearson VUE.
This difficult decision was grounded in the belief that we have a responsibility to keep our candidates, employees, and communities healthy and safe amidst this unprecedented uncertainty. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we do what we can to help fight the spread of COVID-19. We’re all in this together.