Covid has changed the face of business travel irrevocably. The days of hopping onto a flight for a business trip without too much fuss or stress are over. However, domestic and international travel for business is still possible and slowly returning to normal, with some restrictions and regulations remaining in place. Here is everything business travelers need to know.
Testing requirements for business travelers
Unvaccinated individuals may require proof of a negative test 1-3 days before departing, depending on their destination. It’s important to check travel requirements for the destination to ensure that travelers are not turned away at the airport.
Business travelers can get tests on their own time. However, corporate COVID testing in Dallas and other major cities has become the go-to option for many companies with representatives that travel for business. Either way, a registered medical testing facility should conduct the test, and proof of results should be available to supply to an airline and other authorities who need to verify the traveler’s Covid status.
The advantages of onsite tests
Onsite medical providers typically offer various Covid tests, including standard or rapid PCR testing and antigen tests. Onsite tests are simple, as a licensed nurse comes to the company’s office or performs at-home testing for travelers.
- Rapid PCR testing is ideal for business travelers as it is accurate and does not take long to render results. This type of test is generally accepted by airlines and travel destinations, which makes fulfilling testing requirements simple.
- Rapid antigen tests are less accurate and may not be accepted by some international destinations.
Many companies favor blanket testing for employees, especially those who travel frequently or regularly come into close contact with colleagues or members of the public.
Further, onsite tests allow companies to take active steps to prevent or contain an outbreak in the workplace.This enables employers to maintain uninterrupted operations and continue servicing clients.
Considerations before travelling
Even if an employee must travel for work purposes, it is not always possible in the ‘New Normal’.
- Some destinations will not allow travelers to enter without a negative Covid test or proof of vaccination.
- International travel could present challenges as certain countries are currently regarded as no-go zones where Americans may not travel
- A person should not travel if displaying any Covid symptoms or know they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.
- Some destinations have strict regulations about being retested upon arrival and self-isolating for a predetermined duration immediately after arrival.
The CDC currently recommends avoiding travel until fully vaccinated and having proof thereof. It’s also important to check the CDC’s current travel guidance prior to planning a trip.
Get familiar with local regulations
Even vaccinated travelers are urged to take precautions during travel. Some of these guidelines may be federal, state, or local government mandates that apply to vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Others may be put in place by travel authorities, such as airlines and bus companies. Understanding the rules and how to comply will make travel less stressful and help travelers avoid unexpected surprises.
Examples of regulations may include:
- Mandatory mask-wearing
- Social distancing
- Frequent hand sanitizing
It’s important to remember that these protocols are in place to protect everyone and prevent the spread of Covid-19, and as such, travelers should respect them. Non-compliance can result in a traveler being asked to leave an airplane or bus under security escort.
The virus can take up to 10-14 to manifest symptoms, and some patients remain asymptomatic, meaning that they have Covid but do not get ill. That’s why it’s important to self-quarantine and get tested after returning from a business trip regardless of vaccination. Testing helps ensure that travelers haven’t brought an unwanted guest back with them.