Update Issued: 12 March 2020
On 11 March, the WHO made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic.
On 9 March, DFAT advised that “in most countries, we continue to advise Australians to ‘exercise normal safety precautions’. For the coronavirus, this means taking sensible measures to minimise your risk of exposure such as practising good hand hygiene. We have raised our advice level for six countries: China and Iran – to ‘do not travel’; South Korea and Italy - to 'reconsider your need to travel'; Japan and Mongolia – to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’.”
On 23 January 2020, it was first reported in the media that hundreds of people across the Hubei province in Central China had been taken to hospital with breathing difficulties, with numerous deaths reported since.
The Australian Government’s Department Of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) have confirmed an active outbreak of the coronavirus originating from Wuhan City, where there have subsequently been confirmed cases of individuals outside China, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
DFAT travel advice for China was updated 2 February 2020 stating ‘Do not travel’, with further recommendations regarding the coronavirus detailed on their website (www.smartraveller.gov.au). This advice and recommendations may continue to be updated for other nations as this epidemic continues.
If you are overseas and have been directly affected by the coronavirus and need medical assistance, please call our 24 hour emergency assistance team immediately on +61 2 8907 5619.
All travellers should pay close attention to local authorities, emergency services and media and including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the DFAT Smartraveller website. If you are planning to travel, we encourage you to contact your travel agent, airline or tour operator as soon as possible to discuss whether there have been any changes to your itinerary.
Claims will be assessed in accordance with your Product Disclosure Statement and cover may vary depending on the type of policy you purchased.
“We will not pay for claims caused by or arising from an Epidemic, Pandemic or outbreak of an infectious disease or any derivative or mutation of such viruses, or the threat or perceived threat of any of these.”
Please contact your travel agent, airline, cruise operator, tour operator and accommodation provider to consider your options regarding any potential changes in services. Your travel provider may offer free options to rearrange your travel.
This information must be read in conjunction with the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) as certain terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions apply. These terms, conditions, limits and exclusions are detailed in the PDS and we draw your attention to ‘The Benefits’ and ‘General Exclusions’ sections of the PDS.
If you have any further enquiries, please call our Customer Service team on 1300 72 88 22 between 8.00am and 7.00pm Monday to Friday (AEDT) or email [email protected].
Do you have questions about cover for COVID-19? See our coronavirus FAQs.
Or, visit our blog for medical tips relating to COVID-19.