After two years of stringent COVID-19 travel restrictions, which have now largely eased, many are finally enjoying travel again, particularly during these months.
To ensure an enjoyable trip, International SOS
has outlined key requirements for travel abroad:
1. Understand and monitor COVID-19 travel restrictions. For some countries, restrictions are still in place. These 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 that may occur.
2. Traveller-targeted risks exist 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. To make your trip as worry-free as possible, keep up to date on the most recent 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.
6. Expect tighter security at transport hubs as well as increased traffic and congestion.
7. Cyber threats pose a risk, especially as global digitalisation continues to advance. This is becoming one of the biggest global threats we face. Business travellers face more advanced and brazen cyber criminals trying to exploit individuals and workforces.
8. Unexpected travel threats place pressure on emergency resources. Since the pandemic, some countries have seen their resources placed under greater pressure. This shortfall may impact the efforts of services responsible for the safety of the international and domestic travelling population.
9. To reduce the risk of infection, ensure you have completed your vaccination course, including a booster if recommended. In public areas, keep two metres away from others, wear a mask and avoid crowded areas. Minimise face-to-face contact with others. Maintain good hygiene by using hand sanitizer and avoiding touching your face.
10. Monitor the travel restrictions and testing and quarantine requirements for your point of departure, transit locations, final destination, and your return.
This especially applies if your organisation operates across varying locations. The health, safety, and security of your workforce are paramount—even in low-risk destinations. The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected how businesses and individuals perceive travel. We began with high travel anxiety, but over time, travel risk management regulations have considerably reduced travel anxiety and increased confidence in travellers. Additionally, entry requirements in most countries have been relaxed. It is also very important that in these times, as well as times of crisis, your employees are protected.