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A quick update on the travel industry and Coronavirus - Email sent 12 March 2020

This is a dynamic and unprecedented event, where information is changing rapidly; check with us for the most up to date information about your holiday. 
We will be prioritising in order of holiday departure date. 

 
Hello

As you are our valued clients, we wanted to give you a quick update on what is going on within the travel industry due to the unfortunate Coronavirus situation (and the new Pandemic declaration by the World Health Organisation).

This situation is obviously changing day-by-day, and understandably, there are a lot of questions regarding future travel plans.

Our top priority is ensuring travellers are safe and informed, so the purpose of this email is to let you know what is happening, and what is being done for travellers by those in the travel industry.

Please feel free to share this email with anyone who needs it.


We are getting updates daily from suppliers around the world, including from the airlines, land and sea suppliers, and insurance providers.  We are here to help and answer any questions you may have. 

For Those With Travel Booked:


Many suppliers have a timeline where cancellation fees begin to apply from a certain date before travel.

If you still have time up your sleeve - before any financial penalties apply - your best plan of action may be "wait and see". 

Don't be rushed into making a decision about future travel before you need to. Just before cancellation fees come into effect is the time to make decisions.
 

Extra Flexibility In Travel Options:


We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure people have the option to change their plans. Some of the additional options are:
  • Defer/postpone travel to a later date
  • Switch to another tour/cruise in another part of the world
  • Hold the value of the trip in credit for future use
  • A refund (where other options aren't possible)
If you have questions about the cancellation/flexibility polices for a particular supplier, please ask. Every supplier is different, with different policies, and some are more flexible than others.

What About Travel Insurance?


There has been a lot about this on the news, for good reason, as there's been quite a bit of confusion in this area. 

As you may be aware, we offer insurance at the time holiday plans are being made. So for most of our travellers, their Travel Insurance is in place, and is covering them from when they took it out. All our Travel Confirmations (link sent to you on email) have been updated with your attached Travel Insurance certificate and Policy wording (where our office has issued your insurance). Reading the policy wording, will give you an idea of what is covered; do come back to us if you want to know more. Generally speaking, if your airline or supplier is still departing, changing your mind and choosing not to travel will not be accepted for a claim by any travel insurance company.

If you don’t have Travel Insurance in place we can still issue this for you. Two of our insurance providers (Allianz & Kiwi Holiday Insurance) are still providing medical cover and emergency medical transportation costs for Coronavirus anywhere in the world while travelling regardless of when the policy was purchased.

They have confirmed this is still the case even after the pandemic declaration.

And of course, all the other cover provided by your policy still applies as normal.

Just like other suppliers, travel insurance companies are offering different levels of flexibility. So it's vital to be aware of what you're covered for before you start on your travels. 

Are People Still Travelling?


Yes, people are still travelling to low-risk destinations.

Air New Zealand has some great information on for travellers on their website.

They have created a factsheet that outlines what they're doing to protect travellers and Air New Zealand staff during this time.

Should I/My Family Still Travel?


This depends on your circumstances, and we're happy to talk through the specifics with you, but here are some points to consider:
  • Any area which is open to travel, but where the virus is spreading rapidly, is best avoided.
  • You'll need to be diligent with your hand/cough/sneeze hygiene measures.
    • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and thoroughly dry them afterwards.
    • o    Where handwashing isn't practical, alcohol-based (at least 60%) hand sanitising gels and/or wipes are a good idea.
    • Cough/sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
    • Avoid touching your face (especially when on public transport)
  • Deferring travel plans is a good idea for anyone who is currently unwell (for any reason).
  • Anyone with current (or a history of) respiratory problems should also consider deferring their travel, or switching destinations to a low-risk area.

Some Useful links


NZ Government Safe Travel Website - www.safetravel.govt.nz/
World Health Organisation website - www.who.int/
The Ministry of Health Advice for Travellers - www.health.govt.nz/
IATA – Airline/Government Information - www.iata.org/

What is happening is an extraordinary event, please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you have.
Kind regards,

Brigitte, Natasha, Rachel and Holly
 
phone: +64 3 688 8486
mob: +64 27 233 3027
travel@memoriesconnection.co.nz
www.memoriesconnection.co.nz
Holly, Natasha, Brigitte, and Rachel
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