Travelling interstate: Here’s how to get travel insurance for COVID

Posted: 9 December 2021 10:21 am
News
Will Omicron cancel Christmas

With Omicron putting domestic travel plans at risk, here's a rundown of the rules on borders, tests and how to get travel insurance.

The Omicron variant has cast a shadow over many Australians and residents' plans to travel interstate over Christmas.

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said "we're not going back to lockdowns", the government recently pushed back the country's border reopening for international students and other eligible visa holders to 15 December. It was set to open on 1 December. At this stage, it's unclear whether domestic reopening plans will change.

Which state borders are open?

New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT

Travel to and from New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT is currently allowed. Travellers to the ACT who have been to a high-risk geographical area in the last 14 days need to complete an exemption form within 72 hours prior to their arrival in the state.

Queensland

This week, Queensland announced it will reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers and residents from 1 am on Monday, 13 December – 4 days ahead of its initial estimate. Police checkpoints at road crossings and airports will remain in place to ensure arrivals meet entry criteria.

Anyone coming into Queensland will need evidence of a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to crossing the border. They will also be required to take another test 5 days after arriving.

South Australia

Police Commissioner and state emergency coordinator Grant Stevens said SA "can't make any promises" about the potential impact of Omicron on border restrictions; however they remain open at this time.

Arrivals from New South Wales, the ACT and Victoria are required to have a pre-arrival negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours before they arrive. They will also need to test when they arrive and quarantine until a negative test result comes back and test on the 6th day after arrival.

Tasmania

Tasmania's state border is set to reopen next Wednesday, on 15 December. Fully vaccinated travellers will not need to quarantine on arrival but will need to complete a Tas-E-Travel pass, which will be available from 12 December.

Travellers entering over the Christmas period "will also need a negative COVID-19 test, if coming from a designated high-risk area or overseas," said Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein. This will also be in place for "the first 4 weeks or up until the 12 January, subject to public health advice."

Northern Territory

Fully-vaccinated arrivals to the Northern Territory will not be required to quarantine from 20 December 2021, just in time for Christmas.

A testing regime will remain in place for arrivals from red zones who will have to quarantine for 7 days if they are staying in a "high vaccination zone".

The NT government says you will need to return a negative PCR within 72 hours of coming to the Territory, take a rapid antigen test at the airport or the first regional centre if travelling by road, get tested on day 5, 8 and 14, and stay in the high vaccination zone for a further week.

Western Australia

Western Australia's borders will remain closed over the Christmas period. The state is expected to open in 2022.

What happens if there's a border closure?

Travel insurance doesn't generally cover government enforced lockdowns or border closures.

This means travellers won't be covered for cancellations if the state they're travelling to or leaving shuts its borders. However, those who are flying may be able to rearrange their flight or secure credits if the border situation changes.

Travel insurance also won't cover COVID-19 tests. This is because insurance only covers unforeseen events and many states have made it clear that they require tests.

How to get COVID travel insurance when you travel interstate

Most domestic travel insurance providers do not automatically come with COVID cover. Finder researched 35 partner providers and found 15 that include some COVID-related cover. This can include cancellation or trip amendment if:

  • You, or your travelling companion, are diagnosed with COVID-19 after you take out a policy.
  • A close relative, residing in Australia, is diagnosed with COVID-19 and it's considered to be life threatening.
  • You're an essential healthcare worker and your leave is revoked because of COVID-19.
  • A business partner is diagnosed with COVID-19 and it is considered life-threatening.
  • The person you're due to stay with in Australia is diagnosed with COVID-19 or made to quarantine and you can no longer stay with them.
  • The prepaid accommodation you were due to stay at is closed because of a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • You are diagnosed with COVID-19 during your trip and are ordered into a period of quarantine or isolation.

These policies include some COVID-19-related cover. Click "Get quote" to take out a policy.

BrandCOVID-19 expensesCooling off periodOverseas medical expensesTheft or damage to luggageStandard excessApply
World2Cover Logo
  • Some cover
21 days
Up to $15,000$200Get quote
Fast Cover Logo
  • Optional
14 days
Up to $15,000$200Get quote
Covermore logo
  • Some cover
21 days
Up to $15,000$250Get quote
InsureandGo Logo
  • Some cover
14 days
Up to $15,000$100Get quote
TIck Logo
  • Some cover
14 days
Up to $7,500$200Get quote
Southern Cross LogoSCTI
  • Some cover
14 days
Up to $15,000$100More info
Freely travel insurance
  • Some cover
21 days
Optional add on$100More info
Travel Insurance Saver
  • Some cover
21 days
Up to $12,000$250More info
Easy Travel Insurance
  • Some cover
21 days
Up to $15,000$250More info
1Cover Logo
  • Some cover
14 days
Up to $15,000$200More info
ahm life insurance
  • Some cover
21 days
Up to $8,000$250More info
Boomers Logoboomers-travel-insurance
  • Some cover
14 days
Up to $10,000$200More info
Medibank Travel Insurance
  • Some cover
21 days
Up to $15,000$250More info
Qantas travel insurance
  • Some cover
21 days
Up to $15,000$100More info
RACV Travel Insurance Logo
  • Some cover
21 days
Up to $15,000$250More info
Travel Insurance Direct Logo
  • Some cover
21 days
Up to $4,000$250More info
Picture not described
  • Some cover
21 days
Up to $15,000$250More info
Worldcare
  • Some cover
14 days
Up to $10,000$200More info

Do you need travel insurance for travelling interstate?

Domestic travel insurance doesn't need to include medical cover, since Australians are already protected with Medicare, but it may still be worth getting, particularly during times of uncertainty.

"As we all start planning our summer holidays and a well-earned rest, some of us will be heading abroad, but many will prefer to stay closer to home this year," said CEO of Southern Cross Travel Insurance Jo McCauley.

"Following the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a heightened sense of what could go wrong on holiday, and we’ve seen this reflected in the growing number of people purchasing domestic travel insurance with Southern Cross Travel Insurance,” they added.

“Interestingly, people commonly purchase insurance because they want to be covered while they’re away on holiday but our biggest number of domestic claims show that the unexpected can happen beforehand, regardless of whether you’re travelling domestically or abroad," said McCauley. "Unfortunately, this can have a serious hit to your pocket if you don’t have travel insurance."

In addition to some COVID-19 cover, a travel insurance policy can also cover you for risks such as lost, stolen or damaged luggage; medical expenses if you get sick or injured; or cancelling your trip for reasons outside of your control.

Make sure you read the product disclosure statement and visit the provider's website for a full breakdown of exactly what's covered by the travel insurance policy. For more information on domestic travel insurance, head here.

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