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Overseas travel advice – GOV.UK

1. Introduction: guidance for the organization

Organizations have a duty of care to those who travel overseas for work. With the right security policies and procedures, an organization is better prepared to assist its traveler in the event of a security situation such as a terrorist attack.

This guide is designed to help companies understand how to mitigate risk to their employees and how best to respond to companies in the event of an incident. The guide also provides tips for organizations delivering travel safety messages to their employees. This is recommended so that they too can take responsibility for their own travel safety.

1.1 Risk assessment

Is it necessary to travel? Are there other lower risk ways to meet business goals such as: B. through video conferencing? Perform an up-to-date risk assessment of the destination and the proposed itinerary. Assessing the risk of a range of threats including terrorism; e.g. crime, espionage and environmental disasters. Use authoritative sources of information, such as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) overseas travel website, to inform the assessment.

Visit the FCO Travel Advice website

Visit the website of the FCO and the Department of International Trade Overseas

1.2 Educate travelers

If necessary, provide traveler safety information specific to their travel destination, based on the relevant advice identified as part of the risk assessment. You should leave the briefing to understand the risk and how to protect yourself.

Make sure travelers are aware of the organization’s assistance. This can include safety advice, health care arrangements while traveling, and action in the event of an emergency. Travelers may need more comprehensive, relevant safety advice, such as: B. Understanding how to manage your online profile. This can be especially useful if you want to keep a low profile abroad.

1.3 Travel booking process

Procurement of travel and accommodation services by a reputable company. If your organization allows employees to book their own trips, make sure that the proposed airlines and travel providers have a good safety record.

Think about how you might be able to access your internal travel bookings for details on who should be at a given destination and when. Precise information like this is important for your company if you want to react effectively and promptly to an emerging crisis.

1.4 Maintain contact with the traveler

Make sure you have reliable systems in place to keep in touch with your overseas employees.

Provide the traveler with an emergency contact point around the clock. Use an accessible format, e.g. B. Providing a wallet card so the traveler is more likely to have your contact details with them.

Ensure that there is an accessible record within the organization of the traveler’s detailed itinerary. Encourage the traveler to check in with the organization regularly and when their travel plans change.

It is advisable to have an emergency contact for the private life of the traveler. This ensures effective communication should an incident occur.

Provide the traveler with a mobile phone that works at their overseas destination.

1.5 Emergency provisions

Establish an adequate risk management and contingency plan that includes how to respond if the traveler is involved in an overseas security incident.

Use trusted news sources to ensure that your company has a mechanism in place to keep abreast of emerging security issues that may be relevant to overseas travelers. They have clearly identified roles and a chain of responsibility in the event of a terrorist attack to ensure that someone is available and can make decisions to assist travelers, e.g. B. Access to funds in an emergency.

Consider assisting medical assistance and travel security providers who can provide 24/7 services and advice to travelers in an emergency, such as: B. via special mobile applications or messaging services.

1.6 Debriefing of travelers

Make sure you have adequate systems and services in place to assist travelers on their return, especially if they have been involved in an incident overseas.

Allow travelers the opportunity to provide feedback on their most recent trip as this is an important way to ensure that your travel policies and procedures remain fit for travelers.

1.7 Tips for delivering travel safety messages to travelers

  • Make sure that your organization’s travel safety policies and procedures are easy for the traveler to find and follow.
  • Traveling abroad is often busy. Make it easier for your travelers to follow safety instructions by providing a manageable number of important safety principles.
  • Make sure travelers are clear about the behaviors that are expected of them abroad and understand why these will help keep them safe.
  • Use case studies and examples in briefing the traveler. This will help travelers understand the advice you are giving.
  • Promotion of the sense of responsibility of the traveler. Although the organization will take certain protective measures, the traveler must behave safely abroad. Personal safety is a personal responsibility.
  • Deliver security messages to travelers in accessible formats. Consider whether safety notices can be integrated into the travel booking process, e.g. B. at briefings, when booking trips etc.
  • Make the safety news relevant to travelers in their personal life to increase engagement to the safety advice.

2. Instructions for the traveler

The following safety guidelines will help you convey your most important safety messages to your travelers:

The likelihood of being involved in a terrorist attack is small, but when traveling overseas, the security situation on the ground can change quickly and unexpectedly. As a traveler, you may be less familiar with what to do in the event of an incident than you are with staying in the UK. There are important practical steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of direct involvement in a terrorist attack and to be fully prepared in the event of a situation. The safety instructions provided here are aimed at people who travel overseas for work purposes. These tips can also be helpful in keeping you and your fellow travelers safe during your personal journey.

2.1 Before you travel

  • Use authoritative sources such as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel Advisory for the latest advice on your destination.
  • Don’t mention you’re traveling or give details of your trip online (including on social media). This prevents others from having the opportunity to plan to approach you abroad.
  • Choose your itinerary to avoid additional security risks. Can you avoid a stopover in a high risk country? Does your airline / travel agent have a good reputation for security?
  • Think about whether you want to arrive at your destination late in the evening or early in the morning. If so, what transport options are available to you?
  • Have an emergency contact at home and provide them with a detailed itinerary so someone knows where you are in an emergency. If you are traveling for work, make sure you arrange this with your organization.
  • Make copies of your passport and travel documents and keep them separate. This makes it easier to apply for a replacement if necessary.
  • Make sure you have adequate health insurance. Share the details with your emergency contacts and take a copy with you overseas.
  • Bring a cell phone with you with details of your emergency contacts at home and in your destination country. Would you like to know how to contact the ambulance service in the event of an incident?
  • Avoid bringing expensive items (such as jewelry, designer clothing, and unnecessary electronic devices) with you, as this can make you an attractive target for criminals and others with hostile intent.

2.2 While traveling

  • Take a charged mobile phone with you so that you can be reached in an emergency. Take a portable charger with you.
  • Monitor local news sources to ensure you are aware of situations as they develop that could affect your personal safety.
  • Keep your contact points up to date if your travel plans change.
  • Maintain awareness of your surroundings. Avoid distractions like the use of headphones as they will slow your response in the event of a threatening scenario. The appearance of an alarm also helps deter potential attackers and criminals.
  • Watch out for suspicious people and unattended items such as bags and packages. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and report it to a security officer or law enforcement officer as soon as possible.
  • Avoid setting patterns in your daily activity that can be used to target you. If possible, vary the times, means of transport and routes.
  • Be wary of those who pay you inappropriate attention and ask lots of questions that are personal in nature.
  • Try to minimize the time you spend in public areas within airports. Move through security to a safer area as soon as possible.
  • Whenever possible, avoid crowded situations where you can stand out or be targeted as a foreigner, such as: B. Protests and other riot scenarios.
  • Avoid clothing styles and personal behavior that may attract attention.
  • Use only licensed vehicles.
  • If possible, avoid walking alone at night.
  • If you are going overseas, make sure that your vehicle is in perfect condition and that there are no signs of tampering before starting any journey. Make sure windows and doors are locked while driving.
  • Verify the identity of visitors before opening the door of your hotel room. If necessary, use security chains and locks when in your room.
  • Refuse to accept unexpected packages.
  • Use a door jammer or door wedge.
  • Identify possible emergency exits and ways to get to safety so that you are prepared in a specific situation.

2.3 When you return

Notify your emergency contact points when you have returned safely. If you are traveling for work, your organization may be interested in feedback that you may need to improve safety advice for future travelers. Report suspicious incidents overseas.

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