After two years of stringent COVID-19 travel restrictions, which have now largely eased, many are finally enjoying travel again and particularly during these months. To ensure an enjoyable trip International SOS has outlined key requirements for travel abroad. Airlines are bracing themselves for an even busier travel period, IATA recently released strong travel data from May this year which saw many key international route areas – including within Europe, and the Middle East-North America routes – having already surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels in terms of volume of travel. This is expected to increase as people will be on the move due to holidays, work trips, students returning home and then back to University and this guidance is designed to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Top Tips for Safe Travel
· Understand and monitor COVID-19 travel restrictions. For some countries restrictions are still in place, requirements include negative PCR tests, passenger locator forms and mask wearing on flights. Check the requirements of the country you are travelling to and from and monitor for any changes to requirements which may occur.
· Be aware of traveller targeted risks in the country you will be visiting as international visitors are common targets for pickpocketing and scams. Be careful with your valuables, be vigilant in crowded places and use authorised operators to book activities.
· Ahead of your visit familiarise yourself with transport options; if you will be hiring a car, understand car hire policies and road conditions and if you are opting for public transport understand the safety aspects involved. Plan your travel ahead of time and be aware of any local events which may cause additional traffic or delays/ crowding on public transport.
· Predict and cater to your healthcare needs in advance & keep up to date with relevant vaccinations and prescriptions. Also familiarise yourself with how to access healthcare in the country you are visiting, in case you may need it.
· To make your trip as carefree as possible ensure you are up to date with the latest developments and risks in the country you will be visiting. Keep yourself informed of the most up-to-date information relating to political, environmental and social events.
Mr. Udit Mehta, Executive Vice President & Director of Operations for International SOS comments, “With mobility likely to see a strong resurgence as both business and leisure travel gathers steam, it’s critical that organizations and employees ensure a precautionary approach. With travel restrictions abating to a large extent, mobility is much more manageable than it was at the peak of the pandemic, however it’s still a critical aspect to assess while planning a trip. Additionally, risk mitigation is warranted and should encompass all aspects ranging from security and geo-political considerations to individual healthcare needs.”
This is a time when employers can really step up and take their Duty of Care responsibilities seriously by providing up to date and relevant travel guidance to their workforce, empowering them to make considered and safe decisions when planning and undertaking travel in the coming months. To make international travel safer and easier for its clients International SOS offers support via ManagerView, an integrated workforce resilience platform that enables organisations to better monitor and understand how medical and security incidents around the world may impact their workforce.