The way we fly has changed

By Henrik Rahm and Kristian Orispää

Whether you are a business traveller or taking a journey for personal recreation, the way we travel has changed. There are some notable changes to preparing for travel, considerations to take into account while in your travel destination, and actions that need to be taken after your trip.

According to IATA, the International Air Transport Association 1), since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been millions of flights. Despite this, the number of onboard transmissions remains very low. Passengers are advised to practice good personal hygiene, to wash their hands regularly as well as take the needed precautions that will help lower the risk of transmission, for example by using face masks for added protection during the flight.

Every traveller needs to be aware of the risks involved when travelling. According to Henrik Rahm, Nordic Head of Employee Benefits, “With the continued spread and mutation of COVID-19, international travel has changed significantly.

Flights are limited and some destinations are no longer accepting international travellers without a negative COVID-19 test. Keep in mind that local authorities in your destination country may impose restrictions, such as border closure, with very short notice, which may result in your trip being cancelled completely.”

“It is also important to check the latest COVID-19 information and travel restrictions for your destination regularly before departure, utilising reliable government sources for information. Last but not least, know what your insurance covers with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In case of forced quarantine

In 2020, some people found themselves placed into forced quarantine in foreign countries. Abrupt restrictions by local authorities interrupted holidays and caught out business travellers, as governments sought to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Many travellers were unable to return home from their journey abroad. This generated added hotel costs and accommodation fees.

In these situations, it is important to follow the advisories issued by local authorities.

  • Follow the local advice on how to avoid infection risks.
  • Stay in your hotel room or follow instructions if you are moved to quarantine facilities.
  • Be prepared that you may be tested for the coronavirus, and potentially hospitalised abroad.

If this happens to you, contact your travel agency, airline and insurance company as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Henrik Rahm highlights that, “Worth pointing out is the responsibility of the employer and their duty of care obligation, to protect the health and safety of their employees, even though they are covered by an insurance. During these uncertain times, it is important that employers really reconsider if it is required to travel abroad.”  

1) Source: IATA