Travel Security in a Post-Pandemic World: The Importance of Joining Health and Security Forces

In anticipation of GSX, we sat down with presenters of upcoming sessions in order to get a better understanding of the topics at hand. This week we are featuring, “Travel Security in a Post-Pandemic World: The Importance of Joining Health and Security Forces,” presented by Annick Chalifoux, Director of Global Health and Safety at Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ), and Remy Mayo-Martin, Expert Advisor of Global Health and Safety at Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ). Read on for what they had to say and don’t forget to register for GSX 2023

Q: How did you become interested in your topic? 

AC: The pandemic has highlighted the importance of integrating the CDPQ Health and CDPQ Corporate Security teams into one team. During that period, everything had to be analyzed comprehensively: looking at both health and security risks. It therefore became obvious that integrating both teams would help enhance safety and security, improve emergency response and internal communications as well as increase efficiency by having a single point of contact for business travel.  

Q: Tell us about your presentation and why security professionals should have this topic on their radar? 

AC: There are several reasons for security professionals to consider merging Health and Security teams: 

  • The changing travel landscape: The pandemic significantly modified the travel landscape, introducing new health risks and challenges. Security professionals need to be aware of these changes and adapt their strategies to ensure the safety and well-being of travelers. 
  • An integrated approach: By merging health and security teams, security professionals can develop a more comprehensive and effective approach to travel security. Integrating health considerations into security protocols enables early detection, prevention and mitigation of potential health-related threats. 
  • To enhance risk assessment: Merging health and security teams allows for more accurate risk assessment. By considering both health and security factors, professionals can better identify and prioritize potential risks, implement appropriate measures and make informed decisions to protect travelers. 

Q: What advice would you give security professionals interested in this topic? 

RM: My recommendation for any security professionals interested in merging health and security teams would be the following: 

  • Foster collaboration: Establish partnerships and collaborate with health professionals, government agencies and relevant stakeholders to exchange information, share best practices and develop coordinated strategies that address both health and security concerns. 
  • Training and education: Seek specialized training or certification programs that provide knowledge and skills in travel security and health-related matters. Learn about emerging technologies and tools that can enhance travel security measures. 
  • Stay informed: Keep up to date with the latest developments and guidelines from health authorities and security organizations regarding travel safety and pandemic-related risks. 

Q: How do you see this issue evolving in the next 2–5 years? 

RM: Overall, the focus on travel security in a post-pandemic world will continue to evolve. We must adapt our strategies by focusing on merging health and security teams, leveraging technology and adapting to changing regulations and risks. 

  • First, we will see increased integration of health and security teams. It will likely become more prevalent and institutionalized. Organizations will recognize the value of a combined approach to travel security and will invest in developing dedicated teams or departments that address both health and security. 
  • Second, we will see fast-paced technological progress. Developing and adopting advanced technologies such as biometric screening, contactless processes, real-time health monitoring and artificial intelligence tools will likely play a significant role in enhancing travel security in the post-pandemic world. 
  • Lastly, we think there will be some regulatory changes. Governments and international organizations may introduce new regulations and standards to ensure travel security in the post-pandemic era.  

Security professionals will need to stay updated with these changes and adapt their strategies accordingly.