A full risk assessment should be performed prior to the employee travelling.
Risk Assessment should be based on:
- Medical history and any pre-existing conditions of Employee.
- Medical history and any pre-existing conditions of family members / household.
- PCR and Antibody testing is highly recommended.
- Infection status of the destination.
- Lockdown / quarantine requirements should be fully known for destination and departing location.
- Know where local hospitals / doctors are and confirm how you will be able to access healthcare services if needed.
- Documentation needed to enter the country (e.g. is proof of immunisation or extra evidence of medical history needed).
- Any other issues why traveller would not wish to travel – mental welfare check.
- A review of any social distancing and / or infection control measures that have been put in place by the airline.
- Where possible, seats should be booked away from other travelers – check-in is important as is prior planning.
- Book flexible tickets if possible. Constant changing of entry/lockdown regulations may impact available flight options.
- It must be ensured that the business traveller has adequate insurance cover and, where possible, that pandemic cases are also covered.
- Travellers should carry proof of international travel health insurance.
- Bring in extra medication for at least 14 days.
- Confirmation of the suitability of accommodation booked to manage social distancing requirements:
- No contact room service.
- Additional cleaning measures.
- Revised check-in procedures.
- Before departure, clarify which specific hygiene and disinfection measures have been implemented at the hotel/accommodation.
- International hotel chains (4-5 stars) will usually set the appropriate standards for their own hotels within the framework of quality management.
- You must check beforehand what standards are in place.
- It must also be established how meetings are held at the destination (e.g. social distancing rules) and under which general conditions.
- Have an alternative option for accommodation should there be a case of COVID-19 detected in the hotel/accommodation.
- Should the hotel/accommodation be placed under immediate lockdown, prepare action points to follow with your POC/line manager. Prepare business continuity plan for such scenario.
Travel and PPE
The following PPE is recommended for travelling:
- Enough hand sanitiser that can be carried with the employee for the duration of travel, and for at least 1 week extra should return date be delayed.
- Face masks / face covering either certified reusable or enough single use masks for the duration of travel (and for at least 1 week extra stock).
- Ensure that the employee knows the limits and appropriate method and use of PPE to further minimise risk.
In flight / transit
- When checking in, maintain social distancing from airport check in staff.
- Use hand sanitiser and wipe down any documents required for check in with anti-bacterial wipes – do the same when documents are handed back.
- Longer boarding times can be expected due to distancing regulations and possibly temperature checks.
- Longer boarding times and queuing times may result in missing a connection flight or delay in arrival. Make sure meet and greet procedures factor in delays.
- Whilst in transit, it is important to try to maintain a minimum of 2 meters from other travelers.
- Regularly use hand sanitiser whilst in transit and use hand washing facilities where available.
- It is not recommended at this stage to use public transport on arrival in the destination country.
- Use reputable pre-booked taxi services; submit your enquiries about their safety protocols before departure.
- If it is safe to do so, and it is in line with safety measures, slightly open the car window to allow airflow.
- If possible, pre-pay for the service or use the card to pay for the service to limit contact.
- If travelling in groups, check prior to departure how many people are allowed in the car.
- Regularly use hand sanitiser whilst in transit.
Arrival at destination
- Maintain social distancing when moving through the airport and comply to any regulations that may be required in your destination.
- Expect to see checkpoints at some airports with thermal imaging cameras, fever measurements or even rapid tests on entry or before departure as these measures will be common in many places.
- It is not recommended at this stage to use public transport on arrival in the destination country – a car should be hired for transport purposes, or private vehicles / taxis should be arranged for transport needs.
- While in your travel destination, it is recommended to regularly check your temperature and stay alert for any symptoms.
- Stay in touch with your employer or arrange a daily check-in call.
- Comply to any regulations or restrictions that may be required on the return to country / area of residence, e.g. self isolation periods, quarantine periods, mandatory testing etc.
- It is highly recommended that an antibody test be performed on return – on day 1 and day 7 of return to home country / area.
- If the employee shares a household with at risk individuals, it is recommended that a period of isolation should be instituted, and accommodation arranged outside of their home for a period of 7 to 14 days.
- Employee welfare check – to check in with the line manager if the traveller have any concerns.