Human resources expert discusses how employers can prevent a rise in COVID-19 cases during spring break season
Despite the fact that the pandemic is far from over, statistics show that that many Americans are planning to travel during the upcoming spring break season. After a year of COVID-19 lockdowns, research reveals that many Americans are planning to hit warm locales like Mexico and Hawaii, and even international destinations like London, as they take advantage of low-cost airline flights.
However, these travel plans can pose a significant risk to communities when these travelers return back home, or back to the office.
“We are definitely concerned about the fact that traveling employees may have an increased chance of exposing their coworkers and colleagues to COVID-19,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “Yet it’s important to be very sensitive about the message we send to employees about spring break travel. Many of these workers are parents with kids at home, some of whom have not been able to attend school for almost a year. Understandably, these families really want to travel and take advantage of their vacation days and low-cost travel options. We can’t downplay the negative impact lockdowns have had on mental health, and it’s important we attend to those needs as managers and employers. But there is no denying that traveling can be quite risky.”
So how can employers be empathetic about employees’ desire to travel while still keeping the workplace safe?
“It is important to monitor employees’ health and exposure risk, especially when it comes to big travel seasons like spring break,” says Wilson. “Have your employees sign a quick form each day which measures their exposure risk and enquires about any travel history, such as whether they have experienced a high temperature recently (or any other COVID-19 symptoms), whether they have been around anyone who has COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19, or whether they have traveled out of the state or out of the country in the past 30 days.”
Wilson also suggests that employers consider offering incentives for employees to help keep them in town.
“Make sure your employees know the risks of spring break travel,” says Wilson. “You may want to ask employees to quarantine at home following any travel. And perhaps you can offer increased vacation days for those who pledge not to travel during spring break, or an incentive like DoorDash or UberEats coupons.”
For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at email@example.com.