Business Traveler Health Precautions: Best Practice Recommendations
With so many concerns about health issues in the news, organizations should share business traveler health precautions with their employees. Employees who travel for work on a regular basis should have health information that pertains to their specific destinations. Those with health insurance coverage should confirm the processes to follow should a need arise while traveling to international locations.
Current Issues That Require Business Traveler Health Precautions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a Current Outbreak List with travel notices for international travelers. CDC also maintains a Travelers’ Health Site with a complete list of notices, watches, and warnings that is easy to use and searchable by destination. The Travel Health Notices site is also searchable, and has an extensive amount of information that can be used for business travel health precautions. CDC may note information as:
- Watch Level 1 (Practice usual precautions)
- Alert Level 2 (Practice enhanced precautions)
- Warning Level 3 (Avoid all non-essential travel)
CDC is often on the forefront of infectious disease outbreaks, and over the past two years has responded to over 750 health threats. As a result, CDC is an extremely valuable resource for information that can be used to define business traveler health precautions.
Coronaviruses and COVID-19 in China, Japan, Hong Kong
News media may highlight only a few medical and health issues at one point in time. For example, the recent coronavirus disease, officially named COVID-19, appears to be a new health phenomenon. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) notes that coronaviruses (CoV) are part of a large group of viruses. These types of viruses can cause illnesses such as:
- Common colds (sneezing, coughing, fever)
- Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)
WHO notes several standard recommendations against spreading CoV infections, including:
- Avoiding contact with others who are coughing and sneezing
- Covering mouths when coughing
- Covering noses and mouths when sneezing
- Frequent washing of hands
- Thorough preparation and cooking of foods such as eggs and meats
Organizations should share WHO’s standard recommendations against spreading CoV infection as a best practice for business traveler health precautions.
Specific COVID-19 Recommendations
While these standard recommendations will help prevent the spread of CoV infections, WHO has several specific recommendations regarding COVID-19 that should be part of all business traveler health precautions, including:
Upon coughing or sneezing yourself:
- Cover nose and mouth to prevent spread of germs and viruses
- Discard used tissues immediately into a closed bin
- Clean hands with alcohol-based sanitizer or wash hands with soap and water
When around other people:
- Keep distance of 3 feet (1 meter) from others
- Take notice of those who are sneezing, coughing, or have a fever
- Avoid breathing in virus from people who spread droplets when sneezing and coughing
For your personal hygiene:
- Avoid touching mucous parts of your body such as nose, mouth, and eyes
- Touching these areas may transmit virus from contaminated hands into your body
If you have symptoms (fever, cough, and difficulty breathing) but did not visit China:
- Practice basic respiratory hygiene
- Practice basic hand hygiene
- Remain home until recovery
If you have symptoms (fever, cough, and difficulty breathing) and did visit China yourself, or have been in close proximity to someone who has been to China:
- Seek medical care
- Tell your doctor and other health care providers your travel history or that of the person you have been in close proximity to
What Should Employers do About Business Traveler Health Precautions?
Employers should share valuable resources with all employees who travel for business reasons. They should also review corporate plans that might need to change due to illness outbreaks. Companies with facilities located in areas impacted by outbreaks should investigate information and prepare for contingencies.
Best practice is to provide a wealth of information and guidance for employees that travel for business purposes. Employers should communicate business traveler health precautions and provide information on processes to follow should health issues arise.
Global Mobility Solutions’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients understand how to plan for business travel and related contingencies. We can help your company understand how to develop business traveler health precautions as part of best practice recommendations in your company’s relocation and business travel programs.
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Learn best practice recommendations for business traveler health precautions from Global Mobility Solutions, the relocation industry and technology experts who are dedicated to keeping you informed and connected. Contact our experts online or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.