What measures should be taken to protect an employee who must travel for work?

Although travel should be minimized as much as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, many jobs require travel, and it may not be possible to conduct certain job duties using virtual tools. The following measures may be taken to protect employees while traveling:

  • Schedule travel to limit the distance travelled and need for overnight lodging.
  • If multi-day travel is necessary, coordinate with travel preparers to identify hotels that disinfect rooms between stays and regularly disinfect surfaces in common areas.
  • Provide employees with forms of transportation that minimize close contact with others such as fleet vehicles or rental vehicles.
  • If public transportation is used, ask employees to follow the CDC guidance on how to protect yourself when using transportation.
  • If flying is necessary, select seats on flights that provide the greatest distance between other travelers and choose direct flights, if possible.
  • Disinfect surfaces of rental cars or fleet vehicles (e.g., steering wheel, shifter, arm rests, etc.) between each use, using products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2.
  • Make sure employees are provided with the necessary supplies and understand protective measures they can take while traveling. These measures include:
    • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other people (social distancing) as much as possible during travel.
    • Wear cloth face coverings when a distance of 6 feet is difficult to maintain, such as in airports, airplanes, and public transportation.
    • Use disinfecting wipes to clean commonly touched surfaces inside vehicles and airplanes.
    • Consider ordering food for pickup or delivery rather than eating out at restaurants.
    • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer regularly.
  • Ensure that employees know that if they get sick they should stay home (not travel) or return home (if traveling) provided it is feasible for them to travel without endangering themselves or others.
  • Make sure employees know who to contact if they are sick.

For more information, see CDC guidance for travel in the United States