COVID-19 Travel Safety
CISaustralia is actively monitoring the Coronavirus situation and its impact across all regions where we have programs and surrounding areas. We are evaluating the situation via our global network of on-site staff, our overseas and Australian partners and by monitoring credible government and related source information. We are committed to providing the most updated and accurate information to our students and University partners related to health and safety around the world.
We are also committed to the continuity of all our services, as well as partnering with Universities to support the health and well-being of our students. For all of our program locations, we have developed site-specific COVID-19 risk assessments, risk management and emergency response plans. We want our students to stay healthy and safe, and also to be able to have the rich cultural and academic experience that they have worked so hard to have.
As students prepare for their overseas programs, it is important to keep the following information in mind related to insurance coverage and travelling safely:
- Insurance policy wording and coverage for COVID-19 is evolving almost daily to accommodate the global travel scenarios and are subject to ongoing change.
- Each student, destination, policy and customers’ coverage needs are not likely to be the same. Insurance policy terms and conditions will vary depending on the level of cover chosen – it’s worth shopping around.
- Some countries or specific regions may have forced closures/lockdowns whereby travel to them could be a “foreseen” event and may invalidate coverage.
- A minimum level of health requirements and coverage levels (for the entire time abroad, not just CISaustralia program dates) are critical, such as emergency evacuation, medical needs (GP/Hospital/emergency, etc.) and repatriation.
- The majority of insurers will still offer at least medical and evacuation cover. Medical costs, such as mandatory COVID-19 testing prior to departure or on arrival may not be covered, unless the traveller tests positive after commencement of the trip. Read all insurance coverage terms and conditions closely, particularly “exclusions”.
- Many insurers may not pay for cancellation, self-isolation, extra costs or loss of deposits due to Australian border closures. Most airlines, major accommodation providers and travel operators will however offer flexible booking/cancellation arrangements.
- CISaustralia HIGHLY recommends that students use a trusted travel agent with 24/7 after hours service, changeable flights and flexible fares. The temptation will be to save a little bit of money via a slightly cheaper online flight ticket and risk thousands of dollars, with no after hours support or the ability to amend flights. Students will be best served dealing with known / trusted organisations, which have formal agreements in place with their Australian University, to ensure cancellation/deposit risks are mitigated and not have to rely on insurance coverage.
- For all countries students plan to visit during their time overseas, it will be critical to understand any travel restrictions, vaccination and quarantine requirements, as well as government travel warnings (see Smartraveller) that are in place to ensure the most appropriate travel and insurance policy is selected.
- Some countries will require compulsory medical insurance, proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test (PCR/RAT) as well as a valid Vaccination Travel Pass.
- Information about travelling overseas can be found on the Smartraveller COVID-19: Leaving Australia website.
- Students need to keep up to date with any re-entry requirements into Australia, as well as their particular state or territory and any quarantine requirements, which will likely not be insured.
- Finally, travel policy wordings and exclusions relating to COVID-19 can change. It’s important to check for insurer updates regularly.
Visit the following links for additional information and resources related to COVID-19 and travel safety:
- CISaustralia’s Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Will travel insurance cover COVID-19?
- WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) travel advice
- IEAA: Managing risk & travel: A guide for learning abroad practitioners during COVID-19
- CISaustralia’s World News & Updates – Coronavirus Risk Management Overview