Since the pandemic struck, it has kept people away from one another making their hearts grow fonder. With the spread of vaccination and as governments lift lockdowns in various places and ease travel restrictions, it is tempting to travel freely but you need to maintain safety. Difficult times as they might be, there are certain trips, such as ones related to work, that cannot be avoided. You can finally go back to business travels, however, be extra cautious. Given that the pandemic is still ravaging the planet, you need to perform a thorough risk assessment before you plan your business trip. Here are four tips to guide you when you are traveling:
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- Plan beforehand
Before Covid-19 you would wake up and book the available flight tickets to the destination of your choosing and travel, but nowadays it cannot be done that simply. After lockdown, you will need to plan your business trip early in advance so that you comply with the regulations of the place that you are traveling to. Most importantly if you are traveling to go see relatives or friends, you need to notify them early so that they have enough time to plan and prepare their home for your visit.
If you are not traveling for fun, but you have a business meeting to attend in another country, there are still preparations to be made. Make sure that you don’t share a room with your colleagues and the hotel you are staying in is following COVID guidelines. If managing and organizing a business meeting seems too much trouble during these times, you can ask for professional services to reduce the stress and the cost of managing business travel. Taking time to plan your business trip will also give you ample time to think about the points below.
- Limit the use of public transportation
There are times when you cannot avert public transportation for instance when your destination involves taking a long flight. Although, you run the risk of contracting COVID-19 as you travel. Thus, if you can avert these long flights, you need to do it. However, when it is inevitable, you need to ensure that you wear a mask and maintain distance all through. When you get to your destination, renting a private car and driving yourself might be the best option you have to travel safely.
Prepare yourself to ride solo when on business travel, even if you are together with several other colleagues. Despite them being people you know, if you are a big group, it is still recommended to be careful and not get stuck inside small spaces with others. This way, you will keep your distance from people, reducing your chances of contracting the virus. The good thing about renting a private car is that you can disinfect it before you drive around with it. However, make sure you own an international driver’s license for you to be allowed to drive safely and legally on a new country.
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- Get tested
You can get either antibody or viral tests before you embark on your business journey. Getting tested lets you know whether you have contracted a current infection or not. It will also reassure the employees that you are traveling with or the people that you are going to see in meetings that you are safe to travel. Knowing your COVID-19 status also allows you to track your steps should you contract the virus along the way. Should you find out that you are an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient, you need to ensure that you postpone your business traveling plans.
Ensure that you get a prescription from your doctor to manage your illness and only travel when you are deemed Coronavirus-free. Most countries prefer that you get tested approximately seven days to seventy-two hours before you travel. Thus, when getting tested, especially a few hours before flying out for your business trip, you need to be aware of the time zone differences to avoid being forcefully quarantined upon arrival at your destination. If possible, get vaccinated and embark on your next trip.
- Keep your itinerary short
Even after you are cleared off COVID-19, you cannot go about your business as you would normally do when you arrive at your destination. You need to limit your plans to keep yourself safe. You also need to keep the recommended distance from people, observe hand hygiene, and the respiratory norms that are advocated by the public health authorities. Instead of visiting places such as museums during the weekends where there are many people, you could go during the weekdays instead to avoid close contact with people.
Other times when you were on business travel you perhaps avoided staying in a hotel and instead stayed with family or friends who live there. However, since we are amid a global pandemic you need to ensure that you do not stay with them in the same house. It would be safer for both of you if you stay in a hotel or a vacation rental instead. Given how COVID-19 is taking a toll on the seniors, you are better off limiting your business travel plans. Lastly, you should self-quarantine for at least two weeks should you develop flu-like symptoms that resemble Coronavirus signs.
When will international travel resume?
It is difficult to say when international travel will resume in its pre-Covid-19 conditions. Many countries around the world still have their borders closed. For example, Australia has a nationwide ban on international travel. But with the vaccination process taking place, there are new hopes that traveling might be going back to normal. There is a good chance that those American tourists that have taken the vaccination against Covid-19 might be able to visit the European Countries over the summer. While in the UK, they have adopted a traffic light system that divides destinations into three categories – green, amber, and red. Those countries that are part of the green division involve the fewest rules and when travelers return there won’t be quarantine for them. There are different rules and restrictions that each country has set related to travel based on their own circumstances. It is safe to say that it is likely that migration and travel will resume again only in 2022.
Given that the vaccine still hasn’t spread out to everyone and the virus is not completely gone, you need to maintain safety when you go on business after the lockdown. Making proper plans, avoiding public transportation, getting tested, and making your itinerary short will help you keep safe.