COVID-19 Update

Information current at 20th March 2020

Australian Travel Warning - Do Not Travel

As of the 18 March 2020, Smartraveller has advised all Australians to not travel internationally at this time. View the official Smartraveller notice here.

As result of this elevated travel warning, the Australian travel sector is experiencing an unprecedented volume of cancellations, changes and enquires.  We ask all consumers seeking to contact their travel agent, airline or supplier to exercise patience during this period.

To help Australian consumers who may be effected by the Level 4 travel alert, we have outlined a few commonly asked questions.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q. I want to cancel or change my booking and I can't get through to my travel agent/airline/tour operator?

At this point in time the entire Australian travel industry is experiencing a high volume of calls. ATAS accredited travel agents are working tirelessly to support affected consumers. We encourage all consumers to email the agent unless you are travelling within 48 hours.

All travel businesses are placing a priority on customers travelling within 48 hours and also Australians needing to return to Australia We ask for your patience and understanding as bookings are prioritised at this time.

The ACCC has also stated:

“We also remind consumers that many small and medium business are trying to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak as best they can. We urge consumers to exercise patience and treat service staff with courtesy and respect as they fulfil consumer requests for refunds and remedies,” Mr Sims said.

Q. I can no longer travel and I would like a refund for my travel booking. What am I eligible for?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), who is the government regulator of the Australian Consumer Law, has provided the following advice:

You should review your terms and conditions including any ‘force majeure’ clause which may be enlivened from the government restrictions.  Check the business and/or end supplier website for any further specific information on how they are dealing with the crisis and dealing with refunds/credits.

For example, some airlines and cruise lines have made statements regarding blanket future credits.  Contact the business directly if you still require further information however if your travel is not imminent we advise to contact via email as bookings are prioritised.

To view the ACCC advice please see here > COVID-19 Information for Consumers

Each state has also issued advice regarding the cancellation of travel due to travel restrictions:

NSW >
VIC >
QLD >
SA >
WA >

Q.  If I'm returning back into Australia from overseas travel, what do I need to do?

The Australian Government of Health as advised:

All travellers must isolate for a period of 14-days after they have entered Australia. If you need to transit domestically, you may complete this transit and then begin your precautionary 14-day self-isolation period. If you have a layover, you must remain in the airport or self-isolate in your accommodation for the transit period. Refer to the ‘Isolation guidance’ information sheet for further information. If you have returned from a country or region that is at higher risk for COVID-19, you may also be required to undergo enhanced health screening on arrival in Australia.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)  - Information for international travellers

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