The International Labour Organization (ILO) recommends that travel should be avoided or minimized during an outbreak like COVID-19. Employers should check the latest travel advisory and restriction and make sure that the company’s travel policies address where workers can travel, the reasons for travel and permission required. Employers should constantly assess the benefits and risks of requiring employees to travel, particularly internationally, even for critical meetings. Workers should be informed that travel policies are constantly under review and may be subject to regular change.
If travel is unavoidable, employers should consider the following:
- Make sure both the employers and employees have the latest information on areas where COVID-19 is spreading.
- Avoid sending workers who may be at higher risk of serious illness (e.g. older workers and those with medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease) to areas where COVID-19 is spreading.
- Make sure any workers travelling to locations reporting COVID-19 are briefed on the risks involved and precaution measures to be taken, and receive necessary protection, such as face masks or alcohol-based hand sanitizers to facilitate regular handwashing.
- Encourage workers to wash their hands regularly and stay at least 1 meter away from other people.
- Ensure workers know what to do and whom to contact if they become ill while traveling.
- Ensure workers comply with instructions from local authorities where they are traveling, including complying with any local restrictions on travel, movement, or large gatherings.