Best Practices for Business Travel to safeguard against COVID

Business travel has changed, at least for now due to CORONA Virus pandemic. As more people work remotely, not being present in-person for meetings, sales call, seminars etc., is becoming more acceptable. Companies are also re-assessing the need for travel and the savings associated by the lack of it. It remains to be seen if business travel will recover or ever go back to the levels before the pandemic. However, if you must travel for work, Safeter has put together a best practice list that would help you evaluate and safely plan and execute your trip.

Determining need to travel:

  • Assess if travel is necessary or if the same objective can be met via conference call, video call or some other means. Perhaps it can be postponed until such time as is safer to travel.
  • Determine who all need to travel and who they will be meeting and interacting with at the other location. Assess the willingness of the target party to meet with you and what the quarantine requirements might be of the target county, state, country and business.
  • As a first step in planning your trip check the US State department and CDC website for any travel advisories for target location. You can see the World at a glance on US State department’s color-coded map. You can also sign up for the US Department of State STEP program (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) and to stay connected and receive alerts while you are on the road, whether in the US or overseas.
  • Check the quarantine requirements of the target location.
  • Check the NYtimes github database for data related to spread of CORONA Virus by state and county.

Assessing risk to travelers:

  • All travelers should assess their risk of travel by assessing pre-existing conditions and discussing with their doctor if they would be in hi-risk category and what safeguards they should undertake.
  • Check that vaccinations are up-to-date, and if not, take the necessary steps to take the shots/boosters needed to be current and well protected. If available or required, take CORONA Virus test before starting travel.

Preparing for travel:

  • Check on your medical insurance and make sure that it is current and valid for your travel destination.
  • Look into purchasing travel insurance to cover doctor visit, hospitalization, emergency evacuation, extended stay and travel back to home.
  • Check on prescription meds availability and extra doses on hand in case of delays during travel. You may want to carry with you other over the counter drugs for fever management, cough suppression and supplements which boost body’s immune system.
  • Will you need any tools or medical devices like thermometer to be able to check your body temperature?
  • Check on availability of transportation to and from your destination city and other alternates modes of transportation in case needed in an emergency.
  • Find out the hygiene protocols and requirements of the airport, airline, train, ship, bus, cab, rental car, hotel, conference center, seminar etc. that will be part of your travel.
  • Carry masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes etc. Check on what is allowed in carry-on vs. checked bags by your air carrier.
  • It may be beneficial to buy tickets (airline, train etc.) that allow flexibility and low change fees in case there is an emergency and you have to consider alternate travel plans.

Handling travel emergencies

  • Have the emergency hotline number available and handy. Know ahead of time who to call in case of medical need or if you need to shortcut your trip and get back safely.
  • Make the information available to emergency contact, supervisor, travel companions and travel agent.

COVID-19 related data and websites:

About Safeter: Safeter’s mission is to make Reopening and Staying Open safe and easy for employers and employees around the world.  We provide an easy-to-use solution for scheduling employees to come back to the office, contact tracing, testing, and symptom checks.  Our goal is to enable HR to allow their employees to show up and be their best, whether for collaboration, social interaction, mental health, or they just need to do their job at the office.  But safely!