Go far, travel local

Ben Webster
October 18, 2020

In an Australian first, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued an update to its travel advice, saying: Do Not Travel to anywhere overseas, at this time.

Today Smartraveller announced the unthinkable: Do Not Travel to any overseas destination. This has massive implications for travel insurance as we are directed by government statements that include ‘Do Not Travel’.

We now advise all Australians: do not travel overseas at this time. This is our highest advice level (level 4 of 4). If you are already overseas and wish to return to Australia, we recommend you do so as soon as possible by commercial means. Regardless of your destination, age or health, our advice is do not travel at this time.

– Australian DFAT, Smartraveller

As more countries close their borders or introduce travel restrictions, overseas travel is becoming more complex and difficult. You may not be able to return to Australia when you had planned to. Consider whether you have access to health care and support systems if you get sick while overseas. If you decide to return to Australia, do so as soon as possible. Commercial options may become less available.

If you are overseas and cannot, or do not want to, return to Australia, follow the advice of local authorities. Take care to minimise your risk of exposure to coronavirus including by self-isolating. If you choose to stay, note our ability to provide consular assistance in some places may be limited due to restrictions on movement and other services.

If you decide to return to Australia, you will now be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This applies to all travellers, including Australian citizens. For details see the Australian Border Force website.

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

All cruise ships which have sailed from a foreign port have been banned from entering Australian ports for 30 days.

For more information see Smartraveller’s COVID-19 updates.

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 smartraveller@dfat.gov.au


Thank you for letting us use your image, Anna Shvets from Pexels

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