Coronavirus (COVID-19) Your Questions

On Wednesday 18th March, the decision was made by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs (via their Smarttraveller website (https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/) to advise Australians: do not travel overseas at this time. Subsequent advice has continued to be released since this date. Most recently, on Thursday 19th March, the Australian Prime Minister released a statement saying our borders would close to non-residents of Australia.

As one may expect, this has resulted in a large number of telephone calls to our HQ office here in Australia with questions regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the implications.

Our teams have been working outside of normal business hours and answering phone calls and email queries to help support our Gappie and family network. We have been following news and government agency websites in attempt to remain informed of the ever-changing information and advice and we continue to share updates with you.

"Our number one priority is the health and safety of our participants and our staff, so please know that we taking this situation very seriously. Our dedicated team are in contact with our host schools, participants and families. We understand your concerns and welcome conversations however I assure you that our team is working with our host schools with how best to respond to the needs of our participants currently abroad.

During this time, we want you to feel in control, therefore, if you as a family decide that you would like to return to your home country, you are welcome to change your flights with no administration fee from Letz Live. We want you to have total peace of mind about your partnership with Letz Live.

We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and our recent emails so that you may refer to these. It is our hope this helps to alleviate any concerns. However, please feel free to contact us if you require more information."

- Nicholas Hare, Director & Founder

Here are the links to our most recent emails sent to our Letz Live community:

Email sent to UK Gappies, parents/guardians Thursday 19 March 2020

Email sent to UK Gappies, parents/guardians Tuesday 17 March 2020

Email sent to parents/guardians of UK Gappies Tuesday 17 March 2020

Email sent to UK Gappies Monday 16 March 2020

Email sent to UK Gappies Thursday 12 March 2020

 

 

You may resume your placement if you and your school are in agreement. We advise that you have these conversations with your school and continue to openly communicate on your return home.
The decision to stay or depart is a conversation between you and your host school. Should you (and your parents) be comfortable in staying but then you wish to return at a later date, please remember that many airlines are making decisions to change flight plans due to COVID-19. Already a large number of airlines have decreased the number of flights offered, destinations served or ceased international operations completely. Therefore if this was to happen, and you did want to return home, you may be unable to do so at that time.

Here is a link from the NHS (National Health Service UK) website, which gives you an overview about the virus and tips on how to social distance and self-isolate:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/23/boris-johnson-orders-uk-lockdown-to-be-enforced-by-police

What do the new restrictions involve?
People in the UK will only be allowed to leave their home for the following purposes:
• Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
• One form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
• Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
• Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home
• Police will have the powers to enforce the rules, including through fines and dispersing gatherings. To ensure compliance with the instruction to stay at home, the government will:

• Close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship
• Stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with
• Stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals
• Parks will remain open for exercise, but gatherings will be dispersed.
Yes. All host schools in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand have been personally contacted by our director and/or country managers. Our focus is to ensure that a bridge of communication remains between schools and their Assistants. As schools are currently acting independently, there is not a one size fits all solution and we continue to encourage Assistants to have open conversations with their line-managers at school. The overwhelming feedback from host schools is that they welcome questions and conversations with Assistants.
As host schools are acting independently, some participants have been able to stay and have made the decision to remain. Depending on their situation, participants are either staying at their school or seeking alternative accommodation within the UK with the plan to return to their placement. This is a decision made by participant families.
Some participants have decided to return to Australia, saying their final goodbyes to their host school and friends. This was a family decision. On the other hand some Gappies are comfortable with their host school and continue to feel settled in their school environment.
It is best for all participants to refer to their line manager directly regarding their school's plan and employment agreements.
At present, there shouldn't be any change to the participant's current situation. Each participant is fortunate to be in a school environment with their secure lodgings already in place plus medical equipment and staff also onsite.
Yes. Some participants are opting to return home. There will be a cost to change your flight from the original December flight. If you then decide to return to the UK the cost of a new flight will be absorbed by you. This is a new flight and will be priced at time of booking.
If you have booked travel via our travel desk, Letz Travel and you are presently on a UK Gap Year, please send through the three points below so our team can contact Emirates Airways on your behalf for the reissue of new travel documents.
If you’ve purchased travel itineraries via Letz Travel, but are not on a UK Gap Year placement please direct your enquiries through to Claudia Nelson. Our travel team is on standby.


Please email [email protected] with the following details:

• Participant’s full name as per passport

• List three (3) preferred departure dates

• Contact details for parents (telephone number & email)

Please note we will do our best to secure your preferred departure dates, however in the case that we cannot, we will be in touch with your parent/guardian with the next best dates.

Please note that we are experiencing an increasing volume of calls. The best way to enquire about flight options is to send an email. We have a dedicated team processing these emails.
The smarttraveller government website advises the following:
'If you decide to return to Australia, you will now be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This applies to all travellers, including Australian citizens.'

Information regarding how to self-isolate can be found here https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-isolation-guidance
Yes. For those who are purchasing a brand new ticket, your original return ticket for December is still valid for travel up until 31 December 2020.
We have been in contact with all of our Australian partner schools, who have made their independent decisions on how they will continue to positively support participants. Please discuss these plans with your line-manager.
Here is a link to the Australian government's recent fact sheet which outlines COVID-19, how it spreads, who is most at risk, and what you can do to help stop it spreading
https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19-isolation-guidance_6.pdf