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Employee Relocation During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Checklist

Checklist If you have been recently hired by a company abroad or asked to relocate to take up a position in an overseas branch this year, you can count yourself as one of the lucky few who have this opportunity.

This is because work-related relocations took a downturn in the past year. Not many people have been given the chance to pursue their careers overseas.

But with COVID-19 still a global health threat, you can’t afford to get too excited as it could cause you to make hasty decisions regarding your international move. You have to take additional steps to ensure you remain safe and that you won’t experience any problems before and during your overseas relocation with the pandemic still in full swing.

Leading moving companies share below a checklist you can use as your guide to experience a smooth and safe relocation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic:

■ Entry Restrictions

The first thing you have to know if you are planning to relocate abroad is if you will be allowed entry to your country of destination.

Until now, several countries have closed their borders to foreigners. Unless you are on a list of authorised personnel that will be admitted under any circumstance, you can’t consider moving somewhere that does not allow immigrants entry now.

If you are not allowed to apply for an entry visa in your current country, it is a sure sign that you won’t be permitted to enter your destination.

However, travel restrictions are changing quickly, so always keep close tabs on developments in your destination country. Visit the website of the International Air Transport Association or IATA and the embassy of your destination regularly to read updates.

■ Current Situation in Your Destination

If you are allowed to travel to your destination, make sure you know the current situation so that you can prepare well for your move.

Find out if banks, government offices, public transportation, and businesses are operating as usual. By doing so, you will know what things you can get done as soon as you arrive, such as opening a bank account and applying for a work permit, and how you can go around.

If you are moving with your family, check if schools are open. You can then start shortlisting your options for your children even before your flight.

Aside from doing your research online, get the details from your employer. If you have already hired your mover, find out if they offer destination orientation services and get some info from them as well.

■ Local Guidelines

While researching the situation in your destination, read about the rules and guidelines that you must follow upon your arrival.

All countries have their own strict rules that you need to know before you arrive at your destination. You can be hit with a heavy fine and even face detention if you fail to follow them simply because you are not aware of these policies.

Some of the possible guidelines you can expect when you arrive at your destination are:

  • Submitting a medical certificate that shows you are negative for the coronavirus
  • Taking a COVID-19 screening test upon arrival instead of or in addition to submitting a medical certificate
  • Observing self-quarantine in your residence or designated accommodation upon arrival
  • Wearing a facial mask while in public areas

Some countries also have soft rules about combatting the pandemic. These include social distancing, washing hands or applying alcohol or alcohol-based sanitisers frequently, and removing footwear before entering your home or another person’s home.

Although you will not be penalised for disregarding these soft rules, you show that you are respectful of their practices if you follow them. Moreover, you also minimise the risk of contracting the coronavirus for you and other people if you take note of these guidelines.

■ Availability of Quality Healthcare and Medical Services

Knowing how and where you can have access to reliable healthcare and medical services is part of being vigilant against the coronavirus. As such, you will do well to identify the best hospitals and clinics where you can get good-quality treatment for any type of condition or illness, including COVID-19, beforehand.

A quick search online will give you an idea of the quality of healthcare and medical services you can expect in your destination. Additionally, you will know which hospitals and clinics are in or near your area.

While researching, find out which insurance is widely accepted in your destination. The last thing you want to happen is to get sick or hurt, only to find out at the last minute that your coverage won’t be of much help during consultation and treatment.

An international moving company that is also a reliable destination service provider can help you choose the right coverage and provide you with information regarding the healthcare system and services you can expect abroad.

■ Safe Shipping Services

Finally, moving abroad during the pandemic also entails keeping your belongings safe. If you need to ship some items, you have to ensure you will hire a relocation company that can manage this tough job.

Your moving company should take extra precautions to protect your belongings, their staff, and you, their client, against COVID-19. Additionally, they should have measures in place that will work to your advantage if you need to reschedule your relocation.

They should also have procedures to follow in case your shipment will be affected by sudden changes in travel guidelines.

We hope that this checklist will help you with your international move during the pandemic.

Feel free to connect with our consultants to find out how we can help you experience a safe and stress-free move locally and internationally.

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