Coronavirus has only made travelling for work more difficult.
Whether you have lost your job and have to move cities or have always travelled and now find the process arduous, the global pandemic has not helped (to put things mildly).
Last week we attended a virtual conference hosted by the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC). The conference focused on global mobility and how immigration and business travel have changed (most likely forever) due to COVID-19.
Mobility and business travel cover everything from seasonal employees not travelling to tourism heavy towns during peak season, to international business being conducted entirely through Zoom calls instead of trips overseas.
Companies are looking for options to help facilitate safe travel as well as comply with new travel rules.
So, let’s talk about what role personalized furnished housing has to play in helping ease some of the stress around business travel.
We get questions about quarantine and corporate housing every single day.
Common questions include everything from “how do I get groceries?” to “what kind of cleaner does your staff use?” to “what if I need something printed?” We’ll cover some FAQ further down in this post, but I’d like to start by talking about what business travel currently looks like (at least in Canada).
Although still not recommended in most provinces, domestic travel is allowed, which means hotels continue to fill up with guests. Some of these are general travellers, and some are business-related trips or family vacations.
However, some are people under mandatory two-week quarantine.
Because a large portion of a hotel is community space, most hotels don’t want to be known as a place that’s housing international visitors for their quarantine.
Or they make it very clear what their policies are regarding quarantine and the use of shared spaces.
That’s not an issue for personalized furnished housing because all our suites include private and personal space. We deep-clean and disinfect all suites between guests following recommended guidelines, and there are fewer to no common areas, which means a substantially lower risk of cross-contamination.
You have room to spread out and be comfortable, while also following travel restrictions.
So, what does business travel look like right now?
Although rules and restrictions will vary from country to country, most general rules are the same. The rules below apply for travellers entering Canada from other countries for a specific business or other permitted reason.
If you are looking for domestic travel information, you can find links to each province’s specific rules.
You must have an acceptable reason for entering the country.
Currently, borders are shut, which means only certain exceptions can enter from outside the country. These exceptions can include business travel.
You cannot travel if you are sick.
This includes any symptoms, even if you have tested negative for COVID-19. Most airlines will not let you board the plane, and most borders will stop you. So make sure you’re feeling healthy before travelling.
You’ll have to prove you have a place to quarantine once you’re in the country.
Upon entering the country, you’ll have to provide an outline for your mandatory 14-day quarantine period. What is your plan? Where will you be staying? How are you getting there? Etc.
If you do not have a place to quarantine, be prepared to be put up in whatever hotel the government picks for you for 14 days. You HAVE to quarantine, so it’s up to you to decide how comfortable you want to be.
We can help with that second part.
Increased travel restrictions mean you have to plan for longer trips.
One of the rules for international travel exceptions is that your trip is longer than 15 days. This gives you time for your mandatory 14-day quarantine plus however long your actual trip is.
Travel right now is all about pre-planning your stay. Like we mentioned above, we answer questions and get requests about quarantining in our apartments every day.
If you arrive at the border with your accommodation booked, a clear plan for quarantine, and are symptom-free, travelling is instantly more manageable.
What does a two-week quarantine look like in an OBASA / Six Three fully furnished suite?
We’ve covered what to consider while planning a business trip right now, but why shouldn’t you tough it out in a hotel room for 14 days?
Well, we believe that you shouldn’t have to suffer just because you’re keeping people safe right now. Next week we’ll walk you through what a full quarantine period looks like in one of our suites.
- What happens before you even book with us?
- How do you handle groceries, cleaning, and any custom requests?
- What does it look like once you’re gone?
Keep an eye out for part two next week. But until then, here’s a rapid-fire FAQ of our most frequently asked quarantine questions.
Frequently asked questions about corporate housing during the pandemic.
Has the suite been vacant for at least four days, and has it been thoroughly sanitized?
Yes. We make sure all suites have been vacant before housing anyone for a quarantine stay. As always, our suites are deep-cleaned, disinfected, and ready for your stay.
Is housekeeping available during quarantine, and how do you facilitate it?
No. Housekeeping will do a complete sanitize before and after your 14-day quarantine, but no cleaning service can be provided while you isolate. Linens are provided for you in the suite, and most have in-suite washer and dryer.
Does the cleaning staff wear masks?
Yes. Our housekeeping staff wears masks, gloves, and other protective gear during cleaning. This ensures both the safety of our guests and the safety of our team.
What type of cleaner do you use?
We use hospital-grade cleaners and disinfectants to ensure our suites are sanitized between guests.
How do they get groceries?
Delivery services are the safest way to get groceries while isolating. We can recommend some delivery services for you to use during your stay.
Can we pay in cash for deliveries?
No. Most delivery services do not accept cash. But we are happy to arrange to pick up and deliver on your behalf, and you can pay us cash for your groceries.
What if they need office services like printing documents?
We can also arrange to have documents printed and delivered to you. Just email us what you need, and we’ll add any printing charges to your account if applicable.
How is maintenance handled?
For guests who are isolating, maintenance will need to be addressed after your stay. Please let us know what needs to be done, and we’ll promptly handle it after your 14-day quarantine.
Do you make a booking for the quarantine period?
Yes. You’ll need to book your quarantine stay just like you would any stay with us.
Do you have a kitchen to cook food?
Yes. One of the most significant advantages of fully-furnished housing during quarantine is that you get a full kitchen, with everything you’ll need to cook for yourself.
Is there a terrace in the suite?
Yes. We can arrange for you to have a suite with a balcony or closed yard so you can get some fresh air even while self-isolating.
Can we smoke in-suite?
No. All our suites are non-smoking.
Yes, quarantine is mandatory, but we can make it a lot more comfortable for you.
Give us a call today so we can set you up in a fully-furnished suite with all the amenities you’ll need during your quarantine.