What do the travel warnings mean in this coronavirus world?

Military officers wearing face masks stand outside Duomo cathedral in Milan, closed by authorities due to a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Shutterstock
Military officers wearing face masks stand outside Duomo cathedral in Milan, closed by authorities due to a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Shutterstock

After a week of dire government warnings, you could be forgiven for wondering if there is anywhere you can safely go for a break this year. Is there one country you can visit without a mask and hand sanitiser?

You could try the Arctic. But you would have to travel through Norway, which has over 200 cases of coronavirus.

Which brings us to the dilemma of many travellers: what do words like "reconsider your need to travel" actually mean?

The government's website Smartraveller is a great resource. Turns out there are four travel advice warning levels.

And, of course, each is explained.

Level 1: Exercise normal safety precautions - this means use your common sense.

Most countries are still on the warning level. Smartraveller says: "You could face terrorist attacks, civil unrest, violent crime or unique health threats. But overall, the risks are not greater than those you'd face in an Australian city."

Level 2: Exercise a high degree of caution.

Smartraveller says, "We're not saying 'don't go' ... but you should do your research and take extra precautions."

Level 3: Reconsider your need to travel.

"There are serious and potentially life-threatening risks," says Smartraveller.

"This can make the destination unsafe for tourism and unsuitable for most travellers.

"This could be due to: an ongoing threat of terrorism or kidnapping; frequent incidents of violent crime; ongoing civil unrest; widespread disease; other safety risks.

"If you decide to travel anyway, it's your responsibility to reduce your risks and stay safe. The Australian Government is limited in how and when it can help if you get into trouble."

Level 4: Do not travel. This one's pretty self-explanatory.

China and Iran were recently raised to Level 4 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A luxury NSW getaway reopens

The Wolgan reserve has already seen the return of kangaroos, wombats, reptiles and birdlife - now you can settle back in too.

The Wolgan reserve has already seen the return of kangaroos, wombats, reptiles and birdlife - now you can settle back in too.

When the bushfires ripped through the Blue Mountains earlier this year, luxury resort Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley temporarily closed in response. But it has reopened with a special offer called "Return to the Valley".

"We are keen to share with our guests this unique opportunity to witness and be part of the regeneration of the landscape and the abundant wildlife still here on the reserve," says Tim Stanhope, general manager of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley.

The resort's ethos is based on conservation, sustainability and nature. And the team at the resort has stepped up its conservation work. The Wolgan reserve has already seen the return of kangaroos, wombats, reptiles and birdlife.

"This is a rare opportunity to observe firsthand the resilience and extraordinary transformation of nature and to contribute to our conservation efforts," said Simone Brooks, the resort's activities and conservation manager.

"We are deeply appreciative of the contributions of our guests; with their help, we have built a seedbank of over one million seeds representing 25 local native species that is now playing a vital role in repopulating areas of damage."

The Return to the Valley offer includes all meals, regional wines and beers, and two daily nature activities. From $1790 a villa per night, with a minimum two-night stay. Explore more: oneandonlyresorts.com

Metro Hotels releases Vivid packages

Prepare yourself for Vivid.

Prepare yourself for Vivid.

Vivid will be one of Australia's major events this winter, combining light, music and ideas. Metro Hotels is offering some fantastic deals for Sydney stays during this time. Vivid runs from 22 May to 13 June, and there will be large-scale light installations and projections, music performances, creative ideas, discussion and debates.

From $155 per night, the Vivid Brilliance Hot Deal includes one night's accommodation in a Premium Room at Metro Aspire Hotel in Ultimo, glow bracelets, a bottle of wine and a 50 per cent discount on parking. At Metro Apartments in Darling Harbour, $229 per night includes a stay in a one-bedroom apartment, glow bracelets, a bottle of wine and a 20 per cent discount on dinner at Gumtree Restaurant in the nearby Metro Aspire Hotel.

Explore more: metrohotels.com.au

Tokyo Summer Olympics marches on

Despite the outbreak of COVID-19, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said this year's Olympics in Tokyo will go ahead. IOC head Thomas Bach told Reuters that the organisation is preparing for the Olympics.

"I would like to encourage all the athletes to continue their preparation for the Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020 with great confidence and full steam," he said at an executive board meeting. "From our side, we will continue to support the athletes and the national Olympic committees."

The Tokyo Olympics is planned to start on 24 July and finish on 9 August, and it is predicted that the event will attract millions to Japan with the events being hosted across Hokkaido, Fukushima and Shizuoka prefectures.

No Olympic Games has ever been cancelled for any reason other than world war, as it was in 1916, 1940 and 1944.

Egypt's oldest pyramid reopens after 14-year restoration

The Pyramid of Djoser, or Step Pyramid, was Egypt's first pyramid and it reopened last week after a 14-year hiatus due to restoration work. The monument was constructed 4700 years ago during the era of Pharaoh Djoser. Designed by Imhotep, often said to be the world's first architect, the pyramid was the first large-scale stone construction in history and the largest funerary complex of its kind.

In 2006, after years of neglect, the Egyptian government decided to attempt the ambitious restoration of the World Heritage site. The work was needed to prevent the pyramid's collapse and to perform restorative work, including in the corridors leading to the burial chamber.

"We celebrate the completion of the project of warding off the danger ... and restoring the first and oldest remaining pyramid in Egypt," said antiquities minister Khaled al-Anani.