Check this for rolling coverage, updates and links to external websites that may be able to provide more information
Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a new strain of a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.
It originated in China, although there have been recent diagnoses in other countries, mainly Italy & Iran. Dr Hans Kluge, World Health Organisation Director for Europe has stated that in 80% of diagnosed cases the infection is minor where “people experience mild or no symptoms”. Just 5% of all cases are deemed to be critical and the recovery rate is increasing. Elderly or unwell passengers face the most significant risk.
It is not the first pandemic, nor will it be the last. However, it is the first to happen since social media has come into vogue. The end result is a lot of public hysteria and misinformation about the virus.
We're not trying to underplay the situation however we're just trying to provide some context as evidence suggests the serious cases of the virus have almost exclusively been restricted to the elderly or already-unwell. Here's some statistical data that has often been overlooked ....
Based on recorded cases of people who contracted COVID-19:
- Anyone aged over 80+... had a 85.2% recovery rate
- Anyone aged 70-79... had a 92% recovery rate
- Anyone aged 60-69... had a 96.4% recovery rate
- Anyone aged 50-59... had a 98.7% recovery rate
- Anyone aged 40-49... had a 99.6% recovery rate
- Anyone aged 30-39... had a 99.8% recovery rate
- Anyone aged 20-29... had a 99.8% recovery rate
- Anyone aged 10-19... had a 99.8% recovery rate
- Anyone aged 0-09... There have been zero fatalities recorded.
NOTE: This is the survival rate IF you contract COVID-19, and not the stats for the everyday person walking the streets. There may also have been other underlying health conditions besides age which contributed to the recorded COVID-19 deaths.
However, with all that being said. We support the government's efforts to control the spread of the virus and alleviate the anticipated pressure on our hospitals. If you have been overseas or have been on contact with someone you suspect may have COVID-19, please self isololate for 14 days.
World Health Organisation
Click here for rolling updates in relation to the illness
Corona Virus Global Cases
Click here for a live world map outlining current cases
Travel Advisory Information
Click here for the latest DFAT travel advisory information for Australian travellers.
We are an ATAS Accredited take the health and wellbeing of our customers seriously and encourage you to contact us for further information in relation to your intended travel plans or advice on alternative travel plans.
Download ATAS' Advice
ATAS Travel Advice (612 KB)
ATAS Travel Advice (612 KB)
If you are travelling in the next 2 months....
- Closely monitor above websites.
- Check with your insurance company as to the level of coverage you have.
- Check with your tour operator as to the status of your tour. We'll do that if you've booked with us... some are offering generous future credits. However be aware we're working in chronological order.
- Your decision to travel should be based on the advice from the above sources taking into account your personal circumstances – consult with your doctor regarding any increased risk. Be aware of the self isolation guidelines on your return to Australia, plus any other guidelines of the country you are entering. Again, if you booked with us, we'll tell you.
- Some airlines are waiving change fees to change details; similarly some cruise & tour companies are allowing a change of itinerary/departure if available.
- Do nothing now. The situation will likely change significantly in the next 2 months and making a decision to cancel or delay your booking now may result in unnecessary cancellation and amendment fees. If all guys well, things have returned to normality and we're out travelling again.
- Keep monitoring the information sources above and keep regular contact with your travel consultant.
Update: 16 March 2020A lot has happened in the past few days with unprecedented travel restrictions and cancellations in the next couple of months. Ucango is working with all our clients and will hold their hand through this process. As you can expect, we have been inundated with requests and will work through them all. Priority is being given to those overseas or due to travel in the next few days. Please be assured that we will get to you.
- The Australian Government announced that anyone returning to Australia from midnight March 15 must self isolate at home for 14 days.
- The same rule applies if you think you have been on close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19... even if you have not been overseas.
- Travellers who need to take another domestic flight after return to Australia in order to get home, can do so, however they must stay inside their hotel or airport.
- The New Zealand announced similar self quarantine restrictions to all international arrivals.
- The US Government extended their travel ban to also include visitors from the UK and Ireland (on top of the previously-banned Europe)
- Princess Cruises announced a suspension of all operations for two months, this announcement followed similar announcements from nearly all tour and cruise lines. Suspensions range from 1-3 months.
- Most cruise and tour operators are offering very generous 'Future Credit' packages to encourage travel later this year.
- Most cruise and tour operators are also offering amazing fares with generous payment & cancellations terms to encourage future bookings ie later is 2020 or 2021
SELF QUARANTINE GUIDE
Self Isolation Guide (165 KB)
Update: 13 March 2020
Princess Cruises overnight announced they will be ceasing all cruise departures for next 60 days. Operations will return as normal on May 12. Guests are being offered generous compensation packages up to 225% of the fare paid for future cruises.
Similarly, Viking Cruises have ceased operations until end of April; with other some other operators expected to follow suit.
Ucango are currently working through a list of affected passengers in chronological order to run through your options. While this is a huge inconvenience for all, please be assured that your travel agent is here to hold your hand through the entire process.
If your departure is within the next 24 hours and we have not been in touch, please call us 1300 822 646.
NOTE: Please be aware that Australian passport holders are still allowed to return to Australia even if they have travelled to a country with a Travel Ban.
Update: 11 March 2020We understand that many of our customers have queries and concerns regarding plans for future travel. The current COVID-10 situation is a healthy reminder that when travelling abroad, at any time, it is important to exercise common-sense, remain vigilant and stay informed. Our flyer provides additional useful tips and information to support you in your travel plans.
Update: 09 March 2020Some countries have changed their border security policies in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19). These policies may require travellers to self-quarantine for a period of time, or deny entry to people to have travelled from or transited through certain countries and regions, or result in the closure of borders to all international travellers arriving by air or cruise ship. We encourage you to refer to Smarttraveller for latest information or speak to your travel consultant.
Update: 06 March 2020
Update: 03 March 2020
If you have an existing booking and are considering cancellation due to the impact of coronavirus COVID-19, we urge to you consider that it could be a costly exercise. As DFAT has not restricted travel for Australians to any country except China, standard cancellation policies may apply and travel insurance may not cover you. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, similar to the flu, and as of today 90,000 people worldwide have contracted COVID-19 with 3,000 deaths being reported. To provide some context, the flu infects around 1 billion people and is responsible for between 291,000 and 646,000 deaths each year. We believe these comparisons are worth considering before incurring cancellation costs. If you have travel within the next two months to an area of concern, please contact us.