COVID-19 news and updates
Update as at 09 November 2020
It goes without saying that 2020 has been a year like no other and whilst travel has been disrupted we remain focussed on achieving what we do best; placing gap assistants in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and providing working holidays to the UK.
Given the circumstances of the current climate, we are delighted to advise that this year we have received a large and very strong number of applicants and schools who are keen to continue to recruit gap participants. As ever, we are determined to maintain the quality of our gap assistants while seeking to meet school requirements and acknowledge applicant preferences such as a student year level and school location.
We will continue to update this page with news regarding COVID-19.
We have introduced a refund clause into our gap programme participant agreement should you be unable to travel within a designated timeframe ahead of your gap placement. This clause entitles you to a 70% refund of your placement fees should you be unable to travel within 60 days for your intended commencement date.
Flexible Payment Options:
We fully appreciate that the COVID-19 pandemic has potentially placed financial strain on a number of families. In light of this, we’ve teamed up with Skye Finance who can potentially provide you with flexible payment options for your gap year placement with 0% interest repayments. Please contact our office should you require additional information regarding this flexible payment arrangement. NB. This is available to Australian residents only.
Update 7 October 2020: The Department of Home Affairs announced a new category for exemptions to travel overseas. You can now apply to travel if it is for over 3 months or for essential business. This is welcome news for Gap Assistants wanting to travel abroad for their Gap Year.
In recent months, Letz Live has seen two dozen exemption approvals for participants to travel for work to the UK to begin their role within a school for their August/September intake. These results are very encouraging and we continue to watch, with great interest, the decisions made by the Federal Government. You can find further information about exemptions online here.
New Zealand Travellers
From 16 October, the Australian Government established a safe travel zone with New Zealand, commencing with quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia. For more details on the travel zone and requirements to enter Australia, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website.
New Zealanders wanting to experience an Australian Gap Year, please get in contact to discuss job options and location preferences.
Travel to the UK
The UK Gap Year and Working Holiday programme is currently operating as usual. The teams are in constant communication with host schools and partners, ensuring a smooth start to your time in the UK. The team continues to organise logistical items including flight arrival pick-ups and orientation, placement accommodation is organised and programmes are in order. Host schools and partners eagerly await the arrival of participants and are confident in their covid-safe plans and procedures. It is important to note that UK schools have had very stringent plans in place since March 2020, to protect all staff and students. Schools remain very supportive of all their Gap Assistants, which is reflected in our current 2020 Gap feedback.
We are now advising Gap Assistants who are planning on departing Australia for their Gap Year to apply for a travel exemption at their earliest convenience. We have created a detailed guide on how to apply for a travel exemption to leave Australia. If you would like further information please contact our office or you can download a copy by clicking on this link.
If there are any changes/events that affect the school January 2021 start date the Letz Live team will be in touch with all participants to advise. Letz Live continues to monitor and evaluate the situation.
New national restrictions in England from 5 November
Please refer to the FAQ section at the bottom of this page for further information and a link to the UK Government website.
Flights (and “travel corridors”) to the UK
As you may be aware, there are currently specific travel corridors in place to the UK. By travelling through one of these designated corridors, you will (at the time of writing) be exempt from self-isolation requirements when entering the UK.
We have advised our participants to be mindful of the flight route in which they intend to travel to the UK. At this stage, the overwhelming majority of participants are travelling through Hong Kong and Singapore which are on the approved travel corridor list as nominated by the UK Government. Please refer to the Travel Corridor link below.
With regards to South African nationals, we have advised them that self-isolation (at time of writing) is still a requirement and they will need to have completed this prior to the orientation start date. The overwhelming majority intend to partake their self-isolation period with a UK based family prior to the commencement of their orientation.
Naturally, the team is watching this list daily, and in continuous contact with various airline representatives. We encourage you to speak with our team about flight options.
Working Holiday to USA
Due to Covid-19 Global Pandemic and USA visa conditions, we currently can not accept applications for this programme.
Here is a list of government advice sites for your reference
UK Travel Corridor: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors
FAQs for 2021 UK Gap Participants
Remember we have a full-time, inhouse travel team that can assist participants, and their families, with travel arrangements both to the UK and returning home. In March 2020, our team worked around-the-clock to support our participants who elected to return home as quickly and most practically-available route possible. Our team follows news and government agency updates constantly and is in frequent communication with industry partners to ensure we are updated with the ever-changing information / environment.
From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the UK Government is introducing temporary restrictions in England to help curb the number of cases. The good news is that schools will remain open. You can read more about the new restrictions online by clicking here
To date, your UK Orientation is moving ahead in London as planned. Orientation is held 2 days prior to your school arrival date and includes a day of workplace training with the Boarding Schools’ Association. Please ensure your arrival date into England allows for Orientation and quarantine if applicable. Information regarding activities on the day of arrival is to be advised as we monitor what current restrictions allow.
Yes you do. All Australians departing for overseas travel require an exemption. We are encouraging Gap Assistants to obtain this at their earliest convenience. Please find a link to the Guide we have created in the above information or contact our office with any questions you may have.