According to an article in Conde Nast Traveler, government officials are considering imposing a ban on all domestic air travel in order to combat the Covid pandemic. According to officials, this ban can last from 2-4 weeks. As locums physicians, this domestic air travel ban has huge implications on our ability to travel to and from our locums assignments. Here are several things you should do to plan for this.
- Stay up to date with the news. During this pandemic, things change moment to moment. In order to make sure you are not caught off guard, be sure you stay up to date with the current news. Also, check frequently with your air carrier to see if/when your flights may be cancelled.
- Check with your locums company. Contact your locums company to see what their policies are in case your flights are cancelled, and you cannot fly to/from your locums assignment. Are they willing to pay for the additional hotel days required if you get stuck at your assignment. Are they able to pay for the additional time it would take you to drive to your assignment? Would they be willing to provide a “hardship” stipend to cover the extra expenses associated with travelling during this flight ban?
- Decide if you are willing to drive to your assignments. Take this time to see if driving to your assignment is feasible and if so, how long it would take you to do so. If you have decided you don’t want to drive, then let your locums company know that you may have to cancel the assignment.
- Start looking for other assignments. This Covid virus pandemic has placed limitations on our ability to travel. Therefore, the need for physicians who provide tele-medicine services has increased. Also, start looking for locums assignments within driving distance on your current residence. Many states are offering expedited temporary licenses. Many hospitals are loosening their credentialing criteria to help bolster the supply of physicians.
The Covid pandemic has caused and unprecedented time in American history. While the demand for physicians is at an all time high, a possible domestic air travel ban can disrupt the supply of physicians available to meet the demand. We, locums physicians, can overcome this challenge by being proactive and taking a few additional steps.