What Should Travellers Be Doing As Australia Locks Down?
What is GAFFL?

GAFFL connects solo travelers with similar itineraries to explore destinations together. Whether you are backpacking in Asia, road tripping in Australia, or exploring national parks in the US, simply type the destination you are traveling to, find travelers who are going there at the same time as you, connect with them, plan trips, meet, and travel together.

8th Dec | 5 min read

As a traveller in Australia right now you may be feeling a little lost and alone. 

A lot of you want to go back home but can’t since the borders are locked down. Some of you have just arrived in Australia and need to self isolate for 14 days before you can do anything. Even after the 14 days, finding things to do, places to visit, and people to meet will all be a challenge for you.

With a growing number of uncertainties for travellers in Australia amid this global pandemic, one thing’s for sure, you aren’t alone. There are travellers just like you all over Australia, their flights home are cancelled as well, they are being asked to self isolate, and they have no idea what to do with their time in Australia. 

So as a traveller in Australia, what are your options?

We’ve gone through information provided by the Australian government for international travellers and we will share that with you in this post. We also reached out to a few bloggers in our industry and asked them what travellers should be doing if they're in lock down. They gave us some great tips that we'll be sharing those with you in this post as well.

Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 190 countries to plan trips and travel together!

Information for International Travellers from the Australian Government

What do you do when you arrive?

While many of you already know this, we wanted to reinforce it. All travellers entering the country must self isolate for a period of 14 days. If you need to travel domestically to get to your destination where you will be self isolating, you are permitted to do so. If you have a domestic layover to get to that destination, you have to remain in the airport or self-isolate yourself in your accommodation for the duration of the layover. 

What do you do if you're sick?

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you must let a member of the airline staff know.

  • If you are already in the airport when you feel symptoms, immediately contact a biosecurity officer. 

  • If you get sick while you are in self isolation, continue to stay put. 

  • If you are with other people, isolate yourself away from them in your own room and use your own bathroom. 

  • If you have to go near other people, put on a surgical mask. 

  • If you don’t have one, cover your cough and sneeze. 

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 

  • Call a doctor and inform them about your recent travel history.

  • If your symptoms worsen and you have trouble breathing, call 000 right away, ask for an ambulance and notify the ambulance officers of your recent travel history.

How do you buy food and supplies?

Use a grocery delivery services like Instacart to get all your food and sanitation supplies. There are other delivery options available as well, you can find them here.

What do you do if you are low on money?

If you are low on funds, there is not much you can do at the moment other than receiving money from back home. If for whatever reason you don't have access to your home bank account, and only have an Australian bank account, you can get people from back home to send you money via websites like Transferwise or Xoom.

Plans For Flying Home

After you “rent a self-contained apartment if you can, and stock up on supplies” Alesha Bradford and Jarryd Salem, directors of NOMADasarus, recommend that all travellers “get in touch with your travel insurance company since you may have to evacuate to your home country, and if so, it's best to have systems in place to ease the situation”.

Katie Chavez, the creator and editor of The World on my Necklace Travel echoes their sentiments, she tells travellers to “firstly, contact your travel insurance, your airline and your country's Embassy in the country you are in” to find a potential way home.

How Can You Connect With Other Travellers In Your Situation?

Additionally, Katie recommends that “you join relevant Facebook groups for people who are in the same situation as you. Also look for expat groups in the country you are stuck in, as someone may be able to help with advice or even by offering a spare room to stay in. Most importantly, try to stay calm”. 

We totally agree with Katie! Joining Facebook groups and talking to others in the same situation as you is a fantastic resource to have and a great way to escape feeling alone. Anita Hendrieka, and Anthony from The Travel Tart are also big proponents for joining Facebook groups. 

Anita advises that her best tip is to “connect with other travellers and expats within Facebook groups. Type into the Facebook search bar the country and then ‘travel’ and there will be a Facebook group for travellers/expats.  If you need help, post in the Facebook groups. There is a huge sense of community within these groups and there’s always at least 1 person who can lend you a hand or give you some local advice on how to get out of a country/learn what’s happening on the ground”.

Anthony similarly says that “if you're facing a period of self isolation, it can be hard to not feel lonely without meeting other people in person. The best thing here is find some online forums and Facebook groups, e.g. Backpackers in [country] as you'll be sharing the same experience”

We wanted to mention that GAFFL is another great resource to do this as well. Whether you want to connect with other travellers to meet up and share the costs of lodging to self isolate together, or if you simply want to connect to chat and get advice from other travellers and locals, GAFFL's here to help.

Next Steps

Right now there isn’t a lot more official information for travellers stuck in Australia, other than what’s been already listed in this post. You have to self isolate, stock up, and continually check on updates from your home country about repatriation.

If you just arrived, after your 14 days, you'll likely still be required to self isolate in order to practice social distancing. It's entirely unclear whether you will be able to travel within the country at all in the coming months, it's essential that you continually stay informed because of this.

It’s also very important to constantly remind yourself that you are not alone, and you can do this by checking in with other travellers online. Finally, we want you to know that GAFFL is also here for you, we’ll help you in any way that we can, just shoot us an email at support@gogaffl.com. We’re dedicated to our users and we’ll make sure that you aren’t stuck in Australia alone.

Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 190 countries to plan trips and travel together!