Coronavirus /Travel Updates

This situation is evolving daily and we will keep information on this page updated as it comes in.

 

March 22, 2020 United Airlines Flights between USA and Australia extended

United Airlines will continue flying several operations to and from the following destinations – covering Asia, Australia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe – in an effort to get customers where they need to be. This remains a fluid situation, but they we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world, especially in these challenging times.

Flights continuing from now through May schedule
·  San Francisco – Sydney (Flights 863/870)
 


 

March 22, 2020 NEW ZEALAND IN FULL LOCKDOWN

At 11.59pm on Wednesday, New Zealand will go into an extreme and unprecedented nationwide lockdown. All non-essential businesses will be closed and everyone will have to stay at home except for solitary exercise and visiting essential services.


March 20, 2020 TRAVELERS FROM US NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER FIJI

Effective immediately, foreign nationals who have been present in the United States within 14 days of their intended travel to Fiji will be forbidden from entering. 


March 19, 2020 FIJI IMPLEMENTS 14-DAY SELF CONTAINMENT POLICY

From midnight March 20, Fiji's border restrictions on mainland China, Italy, Iran, Spain and South Korea was extended to foreign nationals who have been present in the United States of America and all of Europe, including the United Kingdom, within 14 days of their intended travel to Fiji. Also from midnight, anyone entering Fiji from any overseas destination will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, meaning they must stay in one place and avoid contact with others or going out in public as much as possible.


 

March 19, 2020 NEW ZEALAND CLOSES BORDER

For the first time in New Zealand's history, New Zealand's borders will be closed to everyone in the world except for New Zealand citizens and residents.

The dramatic steps, which come into effect at 11.59pm March 20, 2020 comes as an attempt to "protect New Zealand" from the Covid-19 virus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced overnight.


March 19, 2020 AUSTRALIA CLOSES BORDER

As of 9pm March 2020 AEDT. the Australian government advised that ONLY Australia citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia in a drastic bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus. On arrival in Australia, travelers are required to self-isolate for 14-days in a bid to contain the spreach of COVID-19.


 

March 17, 2020 TAHITI IMPLEMENTS 14-DAY SELF CONTAINMENT POLICY

Applicable from Tuesday March 17th 2020 from 06:00 am until Tuesday March 31st 2020 inclusive, from which date the authorities will decide to possibly extend it.

  • All passengers arriving from an international flight must comply with the obligation of containment at home or at the place of accommodation booked on the island of Tahiti for a period of 14 days, from the day of arrival at Tahiti-Faa’a airport.
  • If you maintain your trip to French Polynesia until March 31st 2020 : you will have to stay in containment for 14 days from your arrival in Tahiti, either at home or in the establishment booked on the island of Tahiti .
  • If you are a visitor currently in the islands (except Tahiti) : you can continue your stay, however if your itinerary brings you back to the island of Tahiti you will no longer be allowed to sett off again to the islands.
  • The health control form given on board by the airline company on every flight to French Polynesia shall be filled out by every passengers and airline crew. The completed survey must be handed, and an information leaflet shall be given in return upon arrival. The place of containment at home, in a booked or dedicated* accommodation on the island of Tahiti must clearly appear on the form.

Any person not following these measures would be exposed to prosecution and could have the 14-day quarantine imposed by force.

 


 

March 16, 2020 COOK ISLANDS IMPOSES TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

New border restrictions imposed by the Cook Islands Government and most of our key source market countries, will effectively mean that until the virus is more contained, there will be no visitors to the Cook Islands other than those from New Zealand.

The Cook Islands Government has issued new border restrictions effective immediately;

  • Anyone intending to enter Rarotonga from any country with the exception of New Zealand is required to self-quarantine in New Zealand for 14-days
  • Non-stop flight services from Papeete, Los Angeles and Sydney are postponed until 18 April 2020, from which time there will be weekly reviews. The Sydney/Rarotonga and Los Angeles/Rarotonga flights will operate for one last time this week departing from Rarotonga. There will be no more incoming passengers coming directly from those countries until the flights are reinstated.
  • A temporary ban on all cruise ships, pleasure crafts and yachts entering the Cook Islands waters is effective immediately until 30 June 2020. Review will be done weekly.

 


 

March 14, 2020 AUSTRALIA IMPOSES SELF-ISOLATION FOR ALL INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS

It was announced today that all travelers arriving in Australia from overseas, including returning Australians, are required to self-isolate for 14 days under tough new border rules announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Mr Morrison said the self-isolation rule was mandatory, not voluntary, as of midnight tonight and applied to all people arriving in Australia by plane or ship.

The Australian Federal Government also announced this afternoon all cruise ships from foreign ports would be banned from Australia as part of its strategy to manage the spread of coronavirus.

Our team is in the process of contacting all affected clients and our office will be open Sunday morning for clients/agents needing assistance.


March 14, 2020 - ENTRY TO NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand’s Prime Minister has taken a tough approach to contain the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand and announced overnight that all international arrivals will need to self-isolate for 14-days on arrival. These restrictions will be reviewed in 16-days.

The team at Down Under Answers are contacting our agents and clients who will be affected to advise them of this new announcement and doing everything we can to accommodate the postponement of their arrangements.

This is an extremely fluid situation and we will keep everyone updated as information comes through.

 


March 13, 2020 - NO CONFIRMED CASES IN FIJI

Fiji has responded quickly to put measures in place to contain the virus including travel restrictions for all foreign nationals who have visited mainland China, Italy, Iran and South Korea within 14 days of their intended travel to Fiji. All cruise ships entering Fiji are required to make first berth at ports in Suva or Lautoka, where passengers on board will undergo medical and travel history checks.

In addition, the destination has boosted its thermal screening and early identification measures. One of these is the capability to undertake molecular testing for COVID-19 in Fiji, which will allow a speedier assessment of any future suspected cases.


 

March 13, 2020 - ARRIVALS INTO TAHITI

Since March 9th, 2020, it is highly recommended that all passengers (including airline crew) traveling to/via French Polynesia present a medical certificate, or a doctor's certificate, dated within 5 days of departure and certifying that the passenger is not presenting any clinical sign of detectable infection. This measure will be applicable until March 31st, 2020 included, from which date the government will decide to possibly extend the measure. Should a passenger not present a medical or doctor's certificate, they will need to undergo a medical examination. If the medical examination is normal, the passenger will be authorized to leave the airport; if the result is abnormal, the passenger will be put on health survellance for 14 days.


 

March 13, 2020 - AIR NEW ZEALAND WAIVER CHANGE FEES

Effective immediately, Air New Zealand is allowing changes to international airfares purchased on/before March 4, 2020 for travel commencing on/before June 30, 2020. Change penalty will be waivered once per booking. The fare difference between the fare purchased and the fare available for sale at time of booking applies.


March 12, 2020 - DOWN UNDER ANSWERS COMMITMENT TO YOU

Since the virus started to be a major news story several weeks ago, I have traveled to Taiwan, New Zealand, Tahiti, Dubai, France and Canada. I have flown on six different airlines and stayed in 11 different hotels.   Despite the headlines, my travel experience has felt very normal, traveling has been rather easy and my experiences great.  

Nevertheless, Down Under Answers understands the many perceptions and concerns about the COVID-19 situation and wants to do what we can to support you and your clients.  At this very difficult time for the travel industry, Down Under Answers is working our hardest to make sure that we can help you maintain your clients’ interest in travel, while at the same time providing them with peace of mind.

If you have clients due to depart in the next 6 weeks, please contact your Destination Specialist to discuss options for amending their travel dates or, if required, cancel their trip. We are here to serve you to the best of our abilities.

Please note we are experiencing a high volume of calls and there may be delays reaching us by phone, so email works well too. Please also note we are prioritizing files based on departure date, so please bear with us as we work through all inquires.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Our mandate, as always, is to put you and your clients’ concerns first.

Kirk Demeter
President
Down Under Answers


 

March 9, 2020 - TRAVELERS VISITING OR TRANSITING TAHITI

All passengers regardless of their nationality, or gateway of embarkation, traveling to French Polynesia must carry a medical certificate no older than 5 days certifying their health condition. This measure will be enforced through March 31st, 2020 pending extension of that policy.

This medical certificate should state that the passenger is in good health and free of flu/viral symptoms (such as cough, sore throat, fever, etc.). Medical certificates may be obtained from the client’s Doctor, Hospital or a professional medical center, such as an Urgent Care facility.