Due to the COVID-19 crisis, businesses are faced with many unprecedented challenges.
The pandemic has affected different areas of operations, including corporate travel management.
Having a clear set of strategies is the best way to move forward and adapt to this situation.
For many corporate travel managers, this especially involves ensuring that business travel safety is observed at all times.
We have prepared a pre-travel checklist to help you navigate the new normal and plan for your next business trip accordingly.
This also allows you to develop an easy-to-follow policy for a safer and more protected journey in a post-COVID environment.
Know the Corporate Travel Policy and Expectations
All relevant corporate travel documents must be available and clearly communicated to everyone in the company.
This will allow travel managers to properly enforce them.
Also, it will help employees be aware of the policy and expectations before they travel for work.
Corporate travel managers must monitor the situation regularly.
If there are any required changes, employees must be notified of the policy updates.
Confirm Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Statuses
Most airline companies require individuals to be fully vaccinated to travel by air.
That’s why it is important to check the vaccination statuses of every traveller.
Should there be an outbreak, it is best to only allow business travel for employees who have been properly vaccinated.
Remind them to bring important travel documents, such as medical information, traveller forms, and COVID test results.
Whether they are showing any symptoms or not, a viral test is crucial to know that the travellers are in good physical health.
Follow the Necessary Health Precautions
During the trip, travellers should follow the recommended health precautions for their safety.
These include washing and sanitising one’s hands regularly, limiting contact with frequently touched surfaces, and maintaining distance between them and other travellers where possible.
Limit Potential Exposure
Coordinate with the hotel or resort management to know if there are any guests infected with COVID-19.
This will help limit any potential exposure to the virus, ensuring the safety of employees and the people around them.
Plan Travel Itinerary
It’s beneficial for travellers to know if there are any recent outbreaks or community transmission in their destination.
There may also be certain restrictions affecting the operating hours and capacity of different local establishments.
Planning the travel itinerary before the trip helps save more time while reducing the risk of contracting the virus.
For instance, make sure to book hotel accommodations that are near the event or meeting venue.
Avoid Large Groups of People
Advise travellers to avoid close and unnecessary contact, especially with large crowds.
They should also avoid enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
As much as possible, the employee should limit the amount of time spent in the airport.
These places are considered potential infection hotspots that may increase their risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Observe the Local Laws or Customs of the Destination Country
Before any business trip, travellers should research and observe the laws and customs of the destination country or layover locations.
Pay attention to any food or water precautions, rules and regulations, or dress code.
This helps prevent any unexpected surprises for a safe and smooth travelling experience.
Create a List of Emergency Contacts
In case of any unforeseen situations, corporate travel managers should have a list of emergency contacts ready that travellers can reach out to.
These point person(s) may be a local representative in the destination country that can provide assistance to the travellers.
Emergency contacts can include information for local consulates or embassies, police departments, and hospitals.
Whether there is an emergency or not, you should also maintain regular communications with employees.
Take Personal Protective Measures
It is essential to practice personal protective measures before, during, and after the trip.
This will help keep your employees and the people around them safe.
Encourage travellers to wear a mask, bring an alcohol-based hand sanitiser or disinfectant wipes, sanitise frequently used objects, and avoid touching their face.
Keep Travellers Informed and Updated
Business travel policies along with recent developments in the COVID-19 situation can change each day.
That’s why you should make sure that employees are always up-to-date with the latest news and information.
Staying informed and updated does not only benefit travellers.
It can also help travel managers prepare for any changes that may occur and decide on the best course of action.
Monitor Any Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19 Infection
Encourage travellers to remain vigilant and monitor themselves for any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection.
Infected individuals can be asymptomatic, or they may also experience a dry cough, fever, loss of smell or taste, and fatigue.
If an employee has contracted the virus while travelling, advise them to seek medical attention immediately and inform the company.
Ensure a Safe Business Travel
Although the COVID-19 crisis has brought many changes to corporate travel management, there are still ways to ensure the safety of employees travelling for work.
With the help of our pre-travel checklist, you can adapt and update your policies to the changing travel regulations.
At Locomote, we can help you plan and manage your business trip with more confidence. Get in touch with our team today for more information.