Queensland’s NSW and ACT travel ban: Everything you need to know
Had a trip to Queensland planned? We've got you covered on what to do next.
The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that the state's borders will be shut to anyone residing in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory from 1am Saturday 8 August 2020.
Queensland declared a travel ban on Greater Sydney last Wednesday (29 July) which has now extended to the whole of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory as both are considered hotspots. The ban on Victoria is still in place.
This comes as a new case of coronavirus was confirmed overnight. Residents are urged to return home to Queensland and are required to quarantine in a hotel for a 14-day period at their own expense.
Stricter rules will be put into place for those who are required to border-cross, with mandatory photo identification and an updated border pass needed from Saturday onwards.
However, it's not all doom and gloom if you managed to score flights with one of the recent Jetstar or Virgin Australia sales. There are a few measures already in place so that you get the most out of your money.
Move your booking with flexible date changes
First and foremost, chances are that you'll be in luck with the extended date-change policies. Jetstar and Qantas have implemented one free date change on flights booked before 31 August for travel up to 31 October 2020.
Virgin Australia has also followed suit with unlimited, free booking changes for travel up until 31 October 2020.
Check if your flights have been cancelled
Chances are that some Sydney-Queensland flights will be cancelled altogether, so you may want to wait a little before making changes. If that happens, you'll be moved to the next available flight or issued a credit note to use at a later date.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, Jetstar extended its voucher policy to 1 year and with flights generally becoming available 12 months in advance, you'll have around 2 years to see Australia. You are also eligible for a refund in the circumstance of a cancellation.
Similarly, Qantas and Virgin Australia will offer you a rebook, credit note or refund if they cancel your flight. If you booked with Virgin Australia, be sure to check your fare type to see if it meets the criteria.
You won't be charged any additional fees if your flight is cancelled, you'll only need to cover the fare differences for when you end up rebooking.
See what your insurance and credit cards options are
So here's the insurance breakdown. Unless you bought your insurance policy in early January, you won't be covered for any COVID-19 related events – this may include cancellations, infection or delays. This applies to domestic and most international policies.
To put it into perspective, the health pandemic was made a known event to insurers from 21-30 January 2020. So we recommend contacting your insurance provider and confirming your policy.
That being said, normal domestic travel insurance still covers regular circumstances such as baggage cover or medical injuries that leave you unable to travel.
To save yourself any future headaches, be sure to book with airlines that are offering flexible fares. For a more in-depth look into domestic travel insurance, check out our page here.
Check other bookings
If you have booked accommodation, airport transfers or tours, be sure to check what your cancellation or credit voucher options are through your provider. See our article on the experience sites offering voucher extensions due to COVID-19 for more information.