Smartraveller now raised ALL overseas travel alert

m_diggity

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Posts
42
i just got an email from smart traveller advising ALL overseas travel should be reconsidered!


We now advise all Australians to reconsider your need for overseas travel at this time.
Regardless of your destination, age or health, if your overseas travel is not essential, consider carefully whether now is the right time.

We have issued this advice for two principal reasons:

  1. You may be more exposed to contracting COVID-19 while travelling overseas. You may come in contact with more people than usual, including during long-haul flights and in crowded airports. Health care systems in some countries will come under strain and may not be as well-equipped as Australia’s. If you’re sick, you may not have your normal support networks.
  2. Overseas travel has become more complex and unpredictable. Many countries are introducing entry or movement restrictions. These are changing often and quickly. Your travel plans may be disrupted. You may be placed in quarantine or denied entry to some countries, and you may need to self-quarantine on return to Australia. Think about what this might mean for your health, and your family, work or study responsibilities.
There are some countries and regions in the world where we advise you 'do not travel'. These are mostly for security reasons but some are also because of a very high risk of coronavirus transmission. Do not travel to these places.

For all other destinations, you should reconsider your need to travel. This is a global advisory in light of the widespread nature of the COVID-19 outbreak and the significant measures in place to curb it. Individual country advisories may not yet display a ‘reconsider’ advice level. You should nevertheless reconsider your need to travel to all destinations. These country pages will be updated and remain an essential of source of information on country-specific risks and contact information.

If you’re overseas and can’t or don’t want to return to Australia, follow the advice of local authorities. Take care to minimise your risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Contact your airline, travel agent or insurance company to discuss your travel plans and options for cancelling or postponing current bookings, or to arrange flights back to Australia.

For more information see our Coronavirus (COVID-19) – information for Australian travellers page.

For urgent consular assistance contact:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 from within Australia
  • +61 421 269 080 from SMS
For non-urgent inquiries, email [email protected]
 
Great..

Now I'm in a tricky situation as it was back in the SARS days. My travel insurance wont pay a claim for cancellation as DFAT have not declared a "Do Not Travel" to my destination. However their policy will not pay cancellation claims as a result of "any prohibition, regulation or intervention by government authorities ", which the Aus Government effectively has done by advising to reconsider non-essential travel.

So to summarise. I can't claim as there is no "Do not travel" issued. But I also cannot claim as the Government has warned not to travel.
 
Contact the accomodation providers and airlines directly. I’ve had some ‘non refundable’ accommodation booked, and after reaching out majority are offering a full refund due to the circumstances we all face.
Now that Smartraveller has raised the warning to ALL countries, I would expect most to be offering full refunds.
I’m waiting for a call back from some accommodation in Chiang Mia to see what their previous ‘no cancellation’ but free change of date stance is.
 
One problem is this warning has no dates associated with it, which is poor form. Smart traveller should at least say for next x days and then review weekly.

If asking a tour company / airline / hotel to refund no refundable bookings you generally need to show that there is a Do Not Travel warning affecting you date of travel; or to claim insurance a Do Not Travel (and some limited cases a "Reconsider Yoru Need to Travel") affecting your dates. No one knows whta the situation will be in 1 month let alone 6 or 9 months!
 
My parents are due to travel here in 2 weeks.
I have a feeling they'll be postponing, which means our already booked trip to NZ will have to be cancelled.

All study abroad students at my uni are being sent an email saying they're being brought back to Australia.
 
Does anyone know if qantas is waving the 6000 point per person fee for changing award flights?
We are thinking of changing our plans and only doing Dubai for a week, but we are 12,000 points short for making the new booking with the change fee...
 
Their advice is current. They don't have a time machine or precognition. No one knows how the situation will develop.

That why i said it should be for a short period of time (i.e immediate future) then review and adjust weekly. Blanket statement liek this is unhelpful as risks are different depending on destination.

Either way the currnet warning is not likely good enough for most insurance policies to pay up for cancellations - so I wouldnt advise anyone to cancel anything yet unless your departure date is within the next 14 days, otherwise wait and see. You willfeel stupid if you cancel plans for a few months away now at significant financial penalty, then find that restrictions are lifted or warning upfgraded later to Do Not Travel which would allow insurance to kick in.
 
That why i said it should be for a short period of time (i.e immediate future) then review and adjust weekly. Blanket statement liek this is unhelpful as risks are different depending on destination.

Either way the currnet warning is not likely good enough for most insurance policies to pay up for cancellations - so I wouldnt advise anyone to cancel anything yet unless your departure date is within the next 14 days, otherwise wait and see. You willfeel stupid if you cancel plans for a few months away now at significant financial penalty, then find that restrictions are lifted or warning upfgraded later to Do Not Travel which would allow insurance to kick in.
Ours is Friday week, to Bali. I've already called about cancelling and no go for waiver. We cant change dates as we have to schedule diaries and we certainly cant reschedule by their date of June 30! I suspect I will be waiting until Thursday week for last minute reprieve to cancel.
 
That why i said it should be for a short period of time (i.e immediate future) then review and adjust weekly. Blanket statement liek this is unhelpful as risks are different depending on destination.

Either way the currnet warning is not likely good enough for most insurance policies to pay up for cancellations - so I wouldnt advise anyone to cancel anything yet unless your departure date is within the next 14 days, otherwise wait and see. You willfeel stupid if you cancel plans for a few months away now at significant financial penalty, then find that restrictions are lifted or warning upfgraded later to Do Not Travel which would allow insurance to kick in.

Agreed. However, I don't see any issue with calling the accomodation providers directly and seeing if they are willing to waive any fees/offer full refunds.
Travel Insurance is a different ball game. From my understanding, a lot of providers will not allow/reject cancellation claims as the warning is only level 3 - not "Do not travel" (level 4).
For me personally, my insurer (SCTI) does not cover any cancellation costs now that COVID-19 is a pandemic.

I'm hoping now that the non refundable accomodation bookings we made will offer refunds now that the Aust Gov has raised to level 3. Time will tell. Ill report back.

FWIW, we are now looking at cancelling our Thailand and Singapore part of our holiday (due to depart 11th April) and just doing Dubai. We know that our TI wont cover any medical now that the alert from Smartraveller is at level 3. A risk we are willing to take (both youngish - 33 and healthy).
 
Ours is Friday week, to Bali. I've already called about cancelling and no go for waiver. We cant change dates as we have to schedule diaries and we certainly cant reschedule by their date of June 30! I suspect I will be waiting until Thursday week for last minute reprieve to cancel.

Was this with LuxuryEscapes? I read in another thread that you were in contact with them and had some issues...

We have a LE booking in Thailand and Singapore. Hoping to get both refunded now that the (smartraveller) level has been raised worldwide to 3.

We also do have the Australian Consumer Law as LE is an Australian company, and bound by that law. I would be expecting a full refund from them now, as the government warning has raised to level 3 worldwide.
 
From Insureandgo - totally ambiguous of course
What you are not covered for
Any claim resulting from you travelling in, to or through a country or area included on the list of countries not recommended by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Homepage | Smartraveller or those countries subject to an embargo from the UN Security Council or from any other international organisation to which Australia belongs, as well as events occurring in any international conflicts or interventions involving the use of force or coercion. This exclusion does not apply to Section A (Cancelling your trip before departure) if you decide to cancel or curtail your trip because a location in your planned itinerary is added or upgraded to the smarttraveller list of “Do not Travel” locations after the policy issue date and before your departure date on the policy schedule. (Please note that other exclusions apply which may affect your ability to claim).

Was this with LuxuryEscapes? I read in another thread that you were in contact with them and had some issues...

We have a LE booking in Thailand and Singapore. Hoping to get both refunded now that the (smartraveller) level has been raised worldwide to 3.

We also do have the Australian Consumer Law as LE is an Australian company, and bound by that law. I would be expecting a full refund from them now, as the government warning has raised to level 3 worldwide.

LE wont refund, they will just negotiate to change the date. Maybe that has changed now though.
 
That why i said it should be for a short period of time (i.e immediate future) then review and adjust weekly. Blanket statement liek this is unhelpful as risks are different depending on destination.

I imagine their information is updated regularly. The advice remains current until it's changed. They can't put a date on it because they don't know what's going to happen. I know you would like to be told it'll be safe to travel on your particular dates (wouldn't we all), but they simply aren't in a position to make any guarantees like that.
 
From my World Nomads policy (only place that mentions Dfat or pandemic / epidemic):

What's not covered under any part of your policy

2. Failure to follow a Do Not Travel warning issued by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or another official authority's warnings against travel to a particular country or part of a country due to:

a. severe weather or natural disaster;

b. riot, strike, civil commotion, martial law, political unrest; or

c. a threat or likelihood of or an actual contagious disease, epidemic or pandemic;

and you not taking the appropriate action to avoid or minimise any potential claim under your policy, including delay of travel referred to in the warning. Please refer to www.dfat.gov.au, www.smarttraveller.gov.au and www.who.int for further information on the status of a region or country.

No cover is available for any incident under any section of this policy should you travel to a country or region for which the Australian Government has issued a Do Not Travel warning.


So for me at least "Reconsider Your Need" is worthless from an insurance pov.
 
From my World Nomads policy (only place that mentions Dfat or pandemic / epidemic):

What's not covered under any part of your policy

2. Failure to follow a Do Not Travel warning issued by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or another official authority's warnings against travel to a particular country or part of a country due to:

a. severe weather or natural disaster;

b. riot, strike, civil commotion, martial law, political unrest; or

c. a threat or likelihood of or an actual contagious disease, epidemic or pandemic;

and you not taking the appropriate action to avoid or minimise any potential claim under your policy, including delay of travel referred to in the warning. Please refer to www.dfat.gov.au, www.smarttraveller.gov.au and www.who.int for further information on the status of a region or country.

No cover is available for any incident under any section of this policy should you travel to a country or region for which the Australian Government has issued a Do Not Travel warning.


So for me at least "Reconsider Your Need" is worthless from an insurance pov.

Interesting. The "and you not taking the appropriate action to avoid or minimise any potential claim under your policy," clause is what would get me worried. Now that this is a pandemic, and the Aus Govt has stated "reconsider your need to travel" due to the virus, how would the insurer agree that you have not taken appropriate action by NOT cancelling?
 
The Frequent Flyer Concierge team takes the hard work out of finding reward seat availability. Using their expert knowledge and specialised tools, they'll help you book a great trip that maximises the value for your points.

AFF Supporters can remove this and all advertisements

From Insureandgo - totally ambiguous of course
What you are not covered for
Any claim resulting from you travelling in, to or through a country or area included on the list of countries not recommended by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Homepage | Smartraveller or those countries subject to an embargo from the UN Security Council or from any other international organisation to which Australia belongs, as well as events occurring in any international conflicts or interventions involving the use of force or coercion. This exclusion does not apply to Section A (Cancelling your trip before departure) if you decide to cancel or curtail your trip because a location in your planned itinerary is added or upgraded to the smarttraveller list of “Do not Travel” locations after the policy issue date and before your departure date on the policy schedule. (Please note that other exclusions apply which may affect your ability to claim).



LE wont refund, they will just negotiate to change the date. Maybe that has changed now though.

Im currently on hold to LE and hoping that they will now come to the table regarding cancellation. After all, they are selling to Australians, under the Australian Consumer Law, which is (in my understanding) bound by government advisory - if our government has now said 'consider your need to travel' then how can a company based on leisure travel bookings not adhear to these new restrictions.
I've noticed their automated hold music still states that "currently China is the only restricted country on the do not travel list."
Obviously this is way out of date, and has not included Iran, South Korea, Italy.
 
Ours is Friday week, to Bali. I've already called about cancelling and no go for waiver. We cant change dates as we have to schedule diaries and we certainly cant reschedule by their date of June 30! I suspect I will be waiting until Thursday week for last minute reprieve to cancel.
Pregnant coworker, her 18mth child, husband and 100 other people suppose to go to Bali in 2 weeks for a wedding.
 
From Insureandgo - totally ambiguous of course
What you are not covered for
Any claim resulting from you travelling in, to or through a country or area included on the list of countries not recommended by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Homepage | Smartraveller or those countries subject to an embargo from the UN Security Council or from any other international organisation to which Australia belongs, as well as events occurring in any international conflicts or interventions involving the use of force or coercion. This exclusion does not apply to Section A (Cancelling your trip before departure) if you decide to cancel or curtail your trip because a location in your planned itinerary is added or upgraded to the smarttraveller list of “Do not Travel” locations after the policy issue date and before your departure date on the policy schedule. (Please note that other exclusions apply which may affect your ability to claim).



LE wont refund, they will just negotiate to change the date. Maybe that has changed now though.

I also have a LE trip next month, and this is their current policy:
CHANGING YOUR TRAVEL DUE TO COVID-19
Please note that China, Iran, South Korea’s Daegu Province and selected Italian regions are the only destinations that Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has changed its travel advice to ‘Do not travel’ as a result of COVID-19. If you wish to change your travel plans for a destination other than the destinations the Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have changed to ‘Do not travel’ as a result of COVID-19, our normal policies for refunds and change of dates will apply. Please note there may be delays in responding to your change of date and/or cancellation request due to a high volume of requests, but we will be in contact as soon as possible.

from: Luxury Escapes - Handpicked Holidays at the Best Prices on Earth

I am also taking the approach of not doing anything for now, things are changing by the minute and who knows what will happen in April. If there's a global shutdown in travel, then they would have no choice but to refund.
 
I also have a LE trip next month, and this is their current policy:
CHANGING YOUR TRAVEL DUE TO COVID-19
Please note that China, Iran, South Korea’s Daegu Province and selected Italian regions are the only destinations that Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has changed its travel advice to ‘Do not travel’ as a result of COVID-19. If you wish to change your travel plans for a destination other than the destinations the Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have changed to ‘Do not travel’ as a result of COVID-19, our normal policies for refunds and change of dates will apply. Please note there may be delays in responding to your change of date and/or cancellation request due to a high volume of requests, but we will be in contact as soon as possible.

from: Luxury Escapes - Handpicked Holidays at the Best Prices on Earth

I am also taking the approach of not doing anything for now, things are changing by the minute and who knows what will happen in April. If there's a global shutdown in travel, then they would have no choice but to refund.

does the Australian consumer law notcome into play here???
Several overseas accommodation providers were already offering refunds due to the pandemic. Now that it has been raised by our govt. surely they are obligated to refund?
 

Enhance your AFF viewing experience!!

From just $6 we'll remove all advertisements so that you can enjoy a cleaner and uninterupted viewing experience.

And you'll be supporting us so that we can continue to provide this valuable resource :)


Sample AFF with no advertisements? More..
Back
Top