FAQ’s for The Safe Return to Business Travel
Posted On 18th/Aug/2020 By Sophie
At arrangeMY, we completely understand that a return to travel in a post-covid world can leave lots of questions, both for the booker or corporate traveller. With guidelines and policies changing on a daily basis from the UK Government, it is essential that those who are required to travel for business are kept fully up to date on keeping safe as they begin a return to travelling.
To guide you through your return to travel, arrangeMY have pulled together some of the most frequently asked questions to stand by your side as you return to travel, overnight accommodation and events.
Is it safe to travel?
Whilst some restrictions remain in place for health and safety reasons, mostly all travel and accommodation suppliers have now safely reopened with a strategic focus on implementing the best health and safety protocols possible. Many suppliers have gone above and beyond to set unprecedented standards of cleanliness, all with the business traveller in mind. The introduction of UK Government measures include such regulations as, wearing face masks on all public transport, keeping a safe distance between travellers and health checks at airports/train stations. All showing the emphasis is very much on traveller safety. arrangeMY have all the latest information on travel and accommodation protocols taken directly from supplier, which we will always happily share to further reinforce the safer ways to travel in a post-covid world.
Where can I travel to?
Advice on where to travel to is ever-changing which really does highlight the need for a Travel Management Company, to give the most up to date advice that will be available. Although there are no limitations on where to travel to at present, some Countries do have certain restrictions in place which may affect your travel beyond the journey itself. For example, certain destinations have a quarantine period in place meaning you will need to isolate for 14 days or more when returning from a specified Country. This can also have a significant impact on transient travel, as moving through Countries with such regulations in place will impact on your isolation times. Whilst you are free to travel anywhere in the United Kingdom at present, it is always advisable to check with arrangeMY before booking any International travel to get the latest information on how this could affect your journey.
Who can/can’t travel at the moment?
There are no limits to who can or can’t travel at present. One common misconception since lockdown rules have started to ease is that only ‘key workers’ are able to travel. This is not the case anymore hotels and transport suppliers remain open for any individual or group required for business travel. Many suppliers did remain open through the lockdown to carry out obligations for essential workers, however since the easing of restrictions in June, anyone is now permitted to travel as long as they are doing so in a safe manner, abiding by any set guidelines which differ by supplier.
Can I change my companies travel policy?
Changing your companies travel policy could not be easier with arrangeMY. We have worked closely with many of our clients throughout lockdown to amend and implement new policies to fit around the coronavirus impacts. Our team remain fully operational and available to support when creating or amending policies. We will take the latest advice from the UK Government coupled with your preferences to create a bespoke travel policy which can then be implemented and fulfilled as quickly as you need this done.
Is it possible to add an approval step in the booking process?
Of course – again adding an additional step to your booking process is something that can very easily be implemented through arrangeMY. Many companies do require authorisation from management when booking travel through these strange circumstances, therefore we can work with you to add this step into the booking process. When creating a booking, nothing will be confirmed or paid for until we have approval from the relevant teams which would come via an automatically generated email. This means you can rest assured that all your travel and accommodation bookings can be fully approvable without worrying about unnecessary travel being confirmed.
What additional precautions will travellers need to take?
This does depend on the guidelines of the supplier. Whilst suppliers are all operating in a highly safe manner, some of their policies do differ, all with the end goal of protecting the corporate traveller. Many new rules have become common practice over the last few months such as wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance and regularly washing hands, however these could differ between certain supplier depending on their policy. Before confirming a booking through arrangeMY, we will always be completely transparent on the precautions your traveller needs to take. We will ensure that you have all the relevant information prior to your trip so you
What emergency protocols are in place?
We take the safety of your travellers very seriously which is why arrangeMY have a whereabouts report available at a click of a button. It’s evident from the past few months that advice is changing on a daily basis, therefore we appreciate how important it is to have the ability to track the movements of the corporate traveller. In the case of an emergency such as a lockdown or crucial advice that may affect the individual, we can provide this report very quickly allowing you to relay the necessary information to your traveller as efficiently as possible.
Are your suppliers Covid secure?
All suppliers have taken very cautious steps to increase their cleanliness standards and created a secure environment for the corporate traveller. We have a wealth of information from all major suppliers which are displayed through our regular correspondence or on our social media channels. Not only this, our Reservation Team are always very happy to share with you the latest covid protocols from our suppliers at the time of booking. Therefore, if there is ever a provider that you require further information about, we can provide this at time of booking for full clarity on the property’s guidelines. From experience and guest feedback through the first few months of a post-covid world, the extra safety measures put in place have given the traveller complete confidence in their return to travelling.
Have prices increased due to the impacts of Coronavirus?
There have been no prices increases due to coronavirus at the moment, nor is this expected as a result. If anything, from early indications prices will be reduced initially in order to encourage more people to return to travelling, whilst demand remains lower than usual. The UK Government have also rolled out many incentives which, for the majority, have been passed down to the client to offer further savings. This includes incentives such as VAT reductions, the eat out to help out scheme and other benefits which keep costs down for the end client.
Do we need to make you aware if we intend to start travelling?
No. Throughout lockdown, the team at arrangeMY have remained fully operational and available to support all clients which has certainly not changed now. Although we are here to support with any guidance or advice, you do not formally need to tell us you are starting to travel again as we are fully prepared for your return. Rest assured, we will be ready when you are.
Will there be a second wave and will this affect travel?
It is unknown as of yet if there will be a second wave of coronavirus within the UK. Whilst we are hopeful that this will not be the case, we remain open and available to support our clients throughout any situation. Many providers have adapted their policies to offer an added level of flexibility when booking. This means that if there were any instances of a second wave, policies are more likely to be cancellable on a free of charge basis. Our Reservations Team can advise you of the flexi-rate policies when booking. It is important to note that whilst ‘local lockdowns’ have come into effect recently this has not had an impact on travel or hotel accommodation, being more about the pubs/gyms/restaurants too.
Can we host conferences or meetings?
Yes. Again, the advice on this is constantly changing, therefore in any instance it’s best to contact our Venue Sourcing team for the most recent advice. At this present moment, meetings are being permitted for up to 30 delegates in a covid-secure venue whilst observing social distancing rules. We anticipate this will improve from around October or even sooner, therefore it’s definitely worth thinking about your return to Events and Conferencing at this stage to ensure you have space secured for when the time comes!
Where can I find more information?
Our social media channels and mailing lists are the best places for the most recent, up to date information. On top of this, you can get in touch with our team with any question we can help. We are always available and happy to offer support, advice or information on a safe return to travel.
Twitter – @arrangeMY
Facebook – arrangeMY
LinkedIn – arrangeMY