Travel advice

With effect from 17 March 2020 all international travel on University business is not permitted.

The Australian Government has closed entry into Australia for foreign visitors, effective 9pm Friday 20 March 2020. This excludes permanent residents, Australian citizens and their immediate family members.

With effect from 25 March 2020, the Australian Government announced a ban on Australians travelling overseas. Exemptions will apply to a range of travellers, for more information please refer to Department of Home Affairs.

Domestic travel

Can I travel domestically on University business?

Due to the closure of multiple State borders, only essential travel is allowed. The Federal Government has defined generally essential travel as; essential work, freight, trade and compassionate grounds.

International travel

Can I travel overseas on University business?

No. The Federal Government has banned all outgoing international until further notice.

In accordance with Australian Government requirements, effective midnight 28 March all arrivals into Australia will be quarantined in hotels and other facilities for a two week mandatory isolation period, in the city of arrival. This will be enforced and run at a State level.

We are continuously monitoring the situation and continue to update staff and students with the latest Australian Government and La Trobe University advice. We recommend no future travel is to be arranged until further notice.

What if I am a staff member or student who is currently overseas, and I do not wish to return to Australia?

Approval to remain overseas needs to be provided by your line manager or supervisor after consultation with the Director Risk Management, Stacey Conlin. All situations will be considered on a case by case basis.

There will be no insurance cover in place for any additional expenses incurred such as flights and accommodation, as a result of not being able to return to Australia as per original travel plans.

If you contract COVID-19 whilst travelling, emergency medical and associated costs will be covered under LTUs travel insurance policies.

I am unable to return to Australia; what should I do?

If you are currently overseas in a country that is not your country of citizenship/residence and were unable to return to Australia by 9pm Friday 20 March 2020 we advise contact Chubb assist;

Chubb assist are the emergency assistance provider of the insurer and are staffed by a team of highly trained experts 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. The number is reverse charge accepted:

Chubb Assistance Tel:  +61 2 8907 5995

Student Policy number:  93131586

Staff Policy number: 93101253

Claims will be reviewed on a case by case basis and considering the healthcare, accommodation and the general safety of your current location;

  • You may be advised either remain where you are or;
  • Travel back to your country of residence/citizenship if you will have safe accommodation and adequate health care.

Please note, if your travel was booked after 4pm AEDT 2 March 2020 it is unlikely you will be insured for any COVID-19 associated cancellation/amendment travel costs. Please contact the insurance office for further advice – insurance@latrobe.edu.au

What if I want to return to my home country to work/study?

Approval to remain overseas needs to be provided by your line manager or supervisor after consultation with the Director Risk Management, Stacey Conlin. All situations will be considered on a case by case basis.

Please be aware of the following insurance restrictions apply to the insurance cover;

  • There is no travel insurance at all for both the journey and time spent overseas as the world is now DFAT4.
  • Group Personal Accident and Professional Indemnity insurance would cover you where applicable whilst carrying out LTU activity with the knowledge and consent of La Trobe University.

Can I attend La Trobe and what should I do if I have recently been overseas?

Effective midnight 28 March all arrivals into Australia will be quarantined in hotels and other facilities for a two week mandatory isolation period, in the city of arrival. This will be enforced and run at a State level.

If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), you must isolate yourself for 14 days after last contact with the confirmed case and call the dedicated Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 675 398. Students and staff in these circumstances must not attend La Trobe and must avoid contact with other students and staff.

If you have been informed by Public Health authorities that you are a close contact of a confirmed case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and have developed symptoms (listed below), you need to call the dedicated DHHS hotline on 1800 675 398. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only. You cannot attend La Trobe until Public Health informs you that it is safe for you to do so.

If you have developed symptoms but have not been informed by Public Health authorities that you have been a close contact of a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), you must call the dedicated DHHS hotline on 1800 675 398 and you cannot attend La Trobe until Public Health informs you it is safe to do so.

Staff unable to come to work as a result of these requirements should contact their supervisor to discuss work arrangements during this period. In addition, you should register this with HR Assist or with our Health & Safety Manager: S.Krizmanic@latrobe.edu.au

Students with impending health-related placements who have recently returned from overseas are requested to contact Josh Apeltauer at J.Apeltauer@latrobe.edu.au to work through the implications of this for your placement.

Students will not be penalised for not attending classes.

*People who are recommended to be isolated should not attend public places such as campuses or shared spaces in halls of residence. For further information on isolation please refer to the Department of Health factsheets.

Can I claim for cancellations/amendments to my travel?

The following restrictions apply to insurance coverage:

Travel (excluding China) booked prior to 4pm AEDT 2 March 2020

  • There is full coverage under the policy (subject to all T&Cs).
  • For travellers who are currently overseas and are now wishing to return home early from their trip, you may be eligible to claim for loss of deposits and additional costs.
  • If the traveller contracts COVID-19 whilst travelling, emergency medical and associated costs will be covered.

Travel (excluding China) booked after 4pm AEDT 2 March 2020

  • There will be full cover under the policy (subject to normal T&C’s) with exception of cancellation costs; there is no coverage for COVID-19 related cancellations/amendments to travel.
  • If the traveller contracts COVID-19 whilst travelling, emergency medical and associated costs willbe covered.
  • All of the above is subject to the T&C’s of La Trobe’s insurance policies.

If you meet the above criteria and wish to submit a claim, please send details of the claim to the La Trobe Insurance Office at insurance@latrobe.edu.au where we can provide assistance in submitting a claim under our University insurance policies.

Where all other La Trobe business travel is required to be changed, you should seek to defer the arrangements to later in the year to minimise costs of change and loss of deposits, etc.  The costs of the change fees and any necessary cancellations will need to be charged to your respective operational accounts.

The University will consider case by case reimbursement for non-refundable flight and accommodation expenses related to OSP.

What does this mean for upcoming international fieldwork and research?

It is recommended you do not make any travel arrangements at this stage. If disruptions to travel affect your ability to fulfil the terms of an externally funded research grant or contract, contact the Research Office at ResearchOffice@latrobe.edu.au

What if I’m a graduate researcher and plan to travel internationally?

All international travel has been banned by the Federal Government until further notice.

Non-essential domestic travel, including conference travel, will also not be approved. Domestic fieldwork will be considered on a case by case basis and approved only where the candidate can demonstrate that the travel is absolutely essential and cannot be deferred.

New applications for travel must be supported by your supervisor and approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global and Graduate Research)

Note that confirmation of available funding doesn’t guarantee that a Study Away application will be approved. Likewise, the withdrawal or unavailability of funding doesn’t affect the Study Away application and approval process.

We’re sorry if your plans for Study Away have been interrupted by the new travel restrictions and encourage you to speak with your supervisor about plans for research activities which may as a result need to be deferred.