Emirates extends COVID-19 cover to Australian travellers

Aussies are no longer excluded from Emirates' COVID-19 cover, provided they have a valid Australian Government 'travel exemption'.

By Chris Chamberlin, July 28 2020
Emirates extends COVID-19 cover to Australian travellers

Australian residents who venture overseas with Emirates may now be protected by the airline’s blanket COVID-19 medical and quarantine cover, with the airline tweaking the Terms and Conditions of its ‘Emirates COVID-19 Assistance’ service.

When launched last week, the service promised to pick up the tab for a traveller’s overseas medical care and quarantine costs in the event of a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 – but this was subject to a hefty list of restrictions, which effectively barred any Australian resident from receiving a benefit.

Among those exceptions, travellers were excluded if they “travel against (their) home country’s government advice.”

As the Australian Government continues to apply a “do not travel” warning to every country in the world (amid a separate overarching ‘travel ban’), this previously invalidated the cover: but this clause has now been withdrawn from Emirates’ Terms and Conditions.

Under this week’s revisions, the policy instead excludes Emirates passengers who “travel to a destination in violation of a travel ban issued by the government of (their) home country or a travel ban issued by a local authority at (their) destination … unless such government or authority has provided exceptional permission for such travel.”

For those with permission from the Australian Government to travel overseas – granted by way of a Border Force ‘travel exemption’ – this change appears to no longer exclude these travellers from Emirates’ COVID-19 cover.

Read: Australian travel ban exemptions: easy for some, hard for many

The text also states that “a travel ban does not include travel advice issued by such government or authority (for example, advice against all but essential travel to a destination),” making the “do not travel” advice no longer an issue in itself.

Some exclusions still apply to Emirates' COVID-19 cover

Any expenses incurred in a traveller’s home country continue to be excluded from this offering, as do any costs relating to blanket quarantine measures that may be in place for all passengers arriving into a destination or having taken a particular flight.

For example, travellers facing mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival into Australia would still need to cover those costs themselves, as this is a blanket quarantine measure (and for Australian residents, would also be an expense incurred in their home country, being a separate exclusion).

Other exclusions continue to apply, including for expenses that arise as a “direct or indirect consequence of your consumption of alcohol.”

Emirates’ policy change follows a critical review of the airline’s COVID-19 cover published by Executive Traveller last week, which highlighted that no Australian resident would qualify for that cover, given the exclusions previously in place regarding travelling against government advice.

Read: Emirates' free COVID-19 medical and quarantine expense cover

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 153

While it is very nice to read that EK are extending their COVID cover in this way, what they really need to do is massively extend the expiry date of the Skywards miles owned by their customers. Back in May they 'generously' extended the expiry date of all miles to December this year, but with most people (and virtually all Australians) unable to make use of any of their miles since that time or until the first half of 2021 at the earliest, those miles will simply evaporate into the ether at years end. If ET has any influence with Tim Clark and his cronies, this is an issue that needs attention very soon....and not just with another pathetic 6 months extension.

14 Dec 2016

Total posts 1

Sounds like a Morrison policy! Sounds good but lacking in substance and no real worth for 99% of population!


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Emirates extends COVID-19 cover to Australian travellers