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Press announcement

How to Stay Healthy and Safe During Summer Travel


Despite the current global financial challenges and geo-political risks, and the ongoing issues of staff shortages within the travel sector, the eagerness to travel among individuals remains strong. International SOS traveller tracking data shows international travel is now at 83% of pre-COVID volumes, but travellers are twice as likely to call for advice or assistance1.

The peak travel season in the Northern Hemisphere is fast approaching and with record-breaking temperatures projected globally this summer2, International SOS encourages organisations to ensure that their workforce take the necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy this season.

James Wood, Regional Security Director at International SOS comments

As we gear up for the expected surge in travel this summer, it is crucial for organisations to place employee safety at the forefront of their travel policies, in line with the ISO 31030 guidelines. The guidance document provides organisations with a framework for managing travel risks and promotes a culture in which travel-related risk is taken seriously, resourced adequately, and managed effectively.

Navigating through crowded tourist spots and ensuring individual safety may pose significant challenges, but appropriate planning and guidance will provide travelling employees with peace of mind. This season presents an opportunity for employers to truly fulfil their Duty of Care obligations by offering timely and pertinent travel advice to their employees. This empowers travelling workforce to make thoughtful and safe choices when planning and embarking on travel in the forthcoming months.
Dr Kate O’Reilly, Medical Director at International SOS comments
Summer is a great time to travel and enjoy the great outdoors. However, the risks of heat-related illnesses shouldn’t be ignored. By equipping employees with knowledge of heat-related symptoms and measures to prevent heat stroke and heat exhaustion, employers can ensure the health and safety of their workforce. Some measures to prevent heat-related illnesses include staying cool, hydrated, and informed by staying indoors during times of peak heat, wearing cool clothing, drinking plenty of liquids and checking local news for extreme heat alerts.

Organisations should also ensure that employees understand the health and safety risks at their travel destination. They should arrange a travel health consultation at least four to six weeks before they travel to ensure enough time to have travel vaccinations and arrange malaria chemoprophylaxis if required. Mosquito-borne illnesses and food and water borne infections also affect travellers. It is important for travellers to know about the health threats at their destination and take recommended precautions.

International SOS provides top guidance for organisations and their workforce to stay healthy and safe whilst travelling this summer:

  1. Inform travellers about travel restrictions. Monitor the situation and requirements of the destination country. Stay connected to official sources of information such as government websites and reputable travel advisories.
  2. Remind travellers to remain up to date with the latest developments and risks in the destination country, including information relating to political, environmental, and social unrest.
  3. Plan ahead and choose safe accommodation. When selecting a place to stay, use credible booking sites, pick the location carefully and consider checking reviews from other travellers.
  4. Highlight the importance of understanding traveller targeted risks in the country they will be visiting as international visitors can be common targets for pickpocketing and scams. Be careful with valuables, be vigilant in crowded places and use authorised operators to book activities.
  5. Ensure awareness of road safety. If driving to travel destination, check the car’s general condition, cooling system, fluids and tyres before leaving. Plan travel ahead of time and be aware of any local events which may cause additional traffic or delays/ crowding on public transport.
  6. Encourage employees to take precautions to prevent heatstroke. Wear clothing that is lightweight, light-coloured, and loose-fitting. If you must be outdoors, slow down, take breaks in a shaded or cool area, and drink cool fluids regularly.
  7. Inform employees on food safety risks whilst travelling. Food poisoning peaks during summer months due to warmer temperatures.
  8. Remind travellers to cater to their healthcare needs in advance. Keep up to date with relevant vaccinations and prescriptions. Also prepare travellers with information on accessing healthcare in the country they are visiting; in case it is needed.

1. International SOS Risk Outlook 2023
2. World Meteorological Organization | Global temperatures set to reach new records in next five years

About the International SOS Group of Companies
The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives and protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, and your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity, and sustainability.

Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by over 9,000 organisations. This includes the majority of the Fortune Global 500. As well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions, and NGOs. Nearly 12,000 multi-cultural security, medical, logistics and digital experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,200 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days. Between them, International SOS employees speak nearly 100 languages and dialects in our Assistance Centres, Clinics, and offices.

To protect your workforce, we are at your fingertips: