IMPACT ON TRAVEL
COVID-19 [Corona Virus]
There is a lot of media coverage of this topic and as usual it is very difficult to sort out the fact from the hype and speculation
Also it is important to keep FACTUALLY up to date if this might impact on your travel plans
If you have travel plans / bookings and are concerned how they maybe impacted then this video from the World Health Organization WHO may assist
WHO QUESTIONS & ANSWERS VIDEO
In situations like this it is important to be clear what is the responsibility of a tour operator and what is not
Cancellation of the tour by the operator for any reason is his / her responsibility and a full refund should be issued
Cancellation by a traveller on the tour for any reason [and the tour is still going] is not the tour operators responsibility so any recovery by the traveller is a travel insurance issue
So, in the current situation if you cancel a booking because you don’t want to travel [even though the tour is continuing] then you need to turn to your travel insurance policy for direction not the tour operator
Ask for the tour operators cancellation policy by all means and ensure they hold to it but if the cancellation is your decision the tour operator is under no obligation to do more than their cancellation policy says
In some cases, you may be able to negotiate to have lost payments transferred to a future booking but this is not a requirement of the tour operator if it is not in the cancellation policy
What about Flight Cancellations ?
Airlines worldwide are cancelling flights for 2 reasons
flights to, from or transiting China or other countries to which the virus has spread eg South Korea
on other routes worldwide to cut costs because people are reducing their travel everywhere
They are also reducing services overall to cut costs eg Cathay Pacific has advised its 27000 staff to take 3 weeks unpaid leave before the end of May
So, for example your flight from Singapore to Brisbane maybe cancelled for cost management reasons and not directly due to the virus
Airlines will endeavour to rebook travellers on suitable alternatives and every airline will manage this differently
What about Border Control ?
Some countries are refusing entrance to travellers who have been in or transited virus affected countries
Before you fly you should try to check if your routing will cause this impact on your travels
We suggest you subscribe to the free Smart Traveller updates for any country you are travelling to
That way you will have the facts about any border entry restrictions
For example, for Jordan
all people that have visited the PR China, South Korea or the Republic of Iran in the two weeks prior to their arrival to Jordan will not be allowed to enter the country. This includes layovers at any of the land, sea and airports in the PR China.
Jordanian Ministry of Health have directed that all direct flights from Italy to Jordan and vice versa have been suspended until further notice.
We can assist with specific enquiries from our clients booked with us or contemplating doing so
Alan & Ginny
Please Yourself Travel
4 March 2019
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION [WHO] INFORMATION FOR TRAVELLERS