Commissioner's Blog: Your consumer rights during COVID-19 coronavirus

This announcement is for: 
Travel agentConsumer

The spread of COVID-19 coronavirus around the world has created a worrying and confusing time for many - holidaymakers are wondering about cancelling trips abroad, while panic-buying has even turned the weekly grocery shop into a daunting task.

Concerned consumers have come to us with numerous enquiries about their rights, so we thought it timely to release a list of Frequently Asked Questions that aim to answer some of the more common queries.

For ticketholders wondering about refunds to events cancelled by organisers, the Australian Consumer Law requires the business to provide a remedy such as a refund, credit note or voucher to affected consumers.

Individual circumstances will vary greatly when it comes to travel issues, but the FAQs aim to provide some helpful information. With some airlines now providing refunds or flight credits, it’s best to contact them directly to see where you stand, while also checking the terms and conditions and cancellation policy. If you’ve booked through a travel agent or booking site, all refund requests must go through them.

Those curious about travel insurance should know that an insurer may cover a cancellation if the holiday and insurance were booked before their cut-off date for COVID-19 coronavirus exemption, but it’s important to read the Product Disclosure Statement (this could be with your credit card provider) as some policies do not cover epidemics or pandemics. Be aware that ‘change of mind’ cancellations are not usually covered.

For those still wishing to travel despite the warnings and prospect of a 14-day home quarantine upon returning to Australia, there are some important precautions you need to take. Keep an eye on specific travel advice for your destination as the entry and exit requirements are constantly changing. Many countries have introduced restrictions and screening measures at border crossings and transit hubs, and these rules can change at short notice. It’s important to note that most travel insurance policies won’t cover destinations on the ‘do not travel’ list.

For more information about other our other FAQs visit:

If you need specific information about your situation, please contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or

Penny Lipscombe, Consumer Protection
Penny Lipscombe, Consumer Protection, by CP Media



Consumer Protection
Media release
26 Mar 2020

Last modified: