Countries around the globe are slowly opening their borders to business as well as leisure travellers in the wake of worldwide COVD-19 lockdowns, but that does not mean that the risks associated with travelling are gone just yet. Economies had to be reopened to prevent catastrophic collapse, but until a proven vaccine is developed, tested and deployed globally, the virus will remain a threat.
Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate COVID-19 travel risks when you send your employees off on business journeys in 2020. These include:
Before you send an employee, or group of employees, to do business on your behalf in a different country or region, it’s important to do your due diligence on infection rates, hospital capacity, etc. in those areas. If you find that infection rates are high and hospital capacity is low, you may want to reconsider the timing of the trip, or take extra precautions in terms of private transfers and accommodation, etc.
By now we know that certain individuals are more prone to getting the virus, and being adversely affected by the impact thereof than others. Known comorbidities of the COVID-19 virus include cancer, chronic kidney disease, obesity (stated as a BMI of 30 or higher), sickle cell disease, type II diabetes, as well as serious heart conditions like previous heart failure, coronary artery disease and more. Individuals with an immunocompromised state due to organ transplants and or autoimmune diseases are also at greater risk to develop serious symptoms that might lead to hospitalisation if they contract the virus.
As such, it is best to clear each employee within your company to travel on an individual basis. Best practice would be to have a doctor or medical professional on retainer who can conduct a proper physical before an employee is deemed fit for travel.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to revisit your company’s business travel policy to put specific protocols in place in terms of COVID-19. Take the time to put it all down on paper so there is no room for error and everyone is on the same page.
Following these guidelines when you send off employees on business trips in 2020 will allow you to mitigate COVID-19 risks as far as possible. If you would like some more expert insight on keeping exposure risk to a minimum on flights and transfers, and at accommodation venues, please feel free to reach out to a member of the TravelManor team. In the meantime, keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks and months for more advice into adjusting to the ins and outs of business travel in a post-COVID world.