Qantas passengers will need COVID-19 vaccine for international travel

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Australia’s largest airline will require passengers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they will be allowed to travel on an international flight.

Speaking on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair on Monday night, Qantas boss Alan Joyce said he believed it would be a necessity for passengers to be vaccinated once a vaccine is available.

And he said the company was looking into the possibility of requiring passengers to have a vaccination passport which would allow them to travel.

International travel has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with flights cut and airlines laying off staff.

“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions, to say for international, that we will ask people to have a vaccination before getting on the aircraft,” Mr Joyce confirmed.

“We think for international visitors coming out, and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity.”

The Qantas CEO said the company would consider the same requirements for domestic flights.

He said he had talked to the chief executives of other international carriers who were also considering making vaccination mandatory for travel.

A vaccination passport is being touted as a method of proving passengers have been vaccinated.

“What we’re looking at is how you can have a vaccination passport, an electronic version of it that certifies what the vaccine is,” Mr Joyce said.

“There’s a lot of logistics, a lot of technology to make this happen, but the airlines and the government are working on this as we speak.”

Recently there have been encouraging test results from a number of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

On Monday pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said some testing showed its vaccine’s efficiency was as high as 90 per cent.

A vaccine candidate produced by the University of Queensland and biotech company CSL is also about to move to important stage 3 trials.

In the United States, pharmaceutical company Pfizer has asked regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, after testing showed it was 95 per cent effective.

On Monday Qantas reinstated flights between Sydney and Melbourne after the reopening of the border between New South Wales and Victoria.

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Written by ABC News


Total Comments: 15
  1. 0

    Alan Joyce actually said the need for a vaccine would depend on the requirements of the country of disembarkation

  2. 0

    On the very many occasions that I have been overseas I have always gone to my doctor and asked the doctor what vaccinations should I get before going to the different countries, always followed his advice. Not knowing how Qantas is going to configure the economy section of the aircraft I bet I won’t be getting a whole row to myself, so to me it makes sense for everybody on that aircraft to be vaccinated. If you don’t want the vac, don’t travel, very simple really. Say they let people on the aircraft without a vac and all of the passengers and crew come down with it.

    • 0

      You make perfect sense, Onemore, and I agree with you entirely.

      If people don’t want to have the vaccine for some strange reason, then they need to stay off the planes.

    • 0

      Just been to the doc this morning, he is of the opinion that a vaccine will be available in the first quarter on next year and the whole population will be vaccinated by the middle of the year. Agree with you people above – anti-vaccers should stay away from aircraft.

  3. 0

    Just as some countries currently require evidence of a yellow fever vaccine evidence for entry, another to add to a new style vaccination passport. I note that IATA are pushing for a digital health passport for travel.

  4. 0

    Onemore – when you get on a plane or bus or go to the supermarket, you don’t know if the person beside you has been vaccinated for whooping cough, or the many other transmittable diseases.

    • 0

      My point exactly, if Qantas demands that their passengers have a vaccination then so be it, then you are aware that the person coughing and sneezing without any thought for the other passengers, then at least I can be assured that at least the person has had the vaccine.
      You see some people have no personal hygiene, whether it be coughing, sneezing, or even using a deodorant and during all my years of travel I have copped the lot.

    • 0

      Onemore lets say someone has had the vaccination and go overseas and contract COVID while there (as people can still get COVID even though people have been vaccinated) COVID reduces your symptons and you get get on the plane without even knowing you have it, what is stopping someone from spreading it through the air conditioning system on a flight longer then 15mins (that is the contact time needed to spread COVID)? This particular vaccine has not yet been proven it gives us 100% herd immunity, it is not a bullet proof jacket like everyone keeps saying about vaccines. My son was vaccinated against chicken pox and so was his friend and they still got it, he bought it home and my daughter got it as well, funny thing was my husband and I didn’t get it, Why? because we both had chicken pox as kids.

      To some of us there are too many unknowns still to put full faith in something that is new, just like a new trial drug I would not put my faith in it until fully proven after years of use by the general public.

      I fully understand there are 2 sides to this vaccine debate and where everyone is coming from I just wish we could all respect each others choices as we do not know anyones personal experiences with vaccines or any other medication or medical procedure that puts trust or non trust in ones mind regarding medications.

      We are certainly living in a Divide and conquer world when it comes to the vaccine debate. The trolls are alive and well on social media and even on these news sites fueling the debate and turning us all against each other like it is now doing with QANTAS throwing their hat into the ring regarding vaccines and travel. Personally I am quite happy to stay in Oz and spend my money here on holidays to support local tourism economy.

      Also a lot of things cause people to cough and sneeze not just COVID and being sick. I cough when I get something caught in my throat, when saliva goes down the wrong way etc. I sneeze as soon as I go outside due to the sun, I sneeze when there are dust particles in the air that irritate my nasal passages. In the last 11 months every time I sneeze and cough I get looks of distrust and fear. As for smelling nothing that a bit of deodorant, perfume or a good shower won’t cure but then again I am allergic to certain brands of perfume (the chemicals in them) and as soon as I get close to someone that has a perfume on that does not agree with me I start sneezing. So god help me if I am stuck on a plane with someone with a perfume on that I am allergic to.

    • 0

      Vinn, the vaccination ‘ passport’ is unlikely to be the only check in place. For a start there are likely to be health checks before boarding. Anyone showing signs of illness will likely be refused boarding, vaccination or no vaccination. The fact is that the best of the current potential vaccinations are 95% effective which means that of every 100 vaccinated, 5 may still contract COVID-19.

      Requiring vaccination to travel is a great start but cannot be relied on alone.

      And don’t think for one minute that Qantas will be the only airline implementing a ‘ no jab no fly’ policy when the time comes. And as others have pointed out, countries that have managed to control the virus are also likely to implement something similar to avoid reinfecting their citizens. I have no doubt Australia will do the same. And at the very least quarantine will remain in place for some time yet even after vaccination begins.

      You do of course have a choice to vaccinate or not. But there are likely to be consequences – no or limited travel! But don’t forget that travel and particularly international travel is a privilege NOT a right!

  5. 0

    the vaccine to what I have read to now will only diminish symptoms but has not been proven that you can’t catch it still and can’t spread it even when jabbed. so no herd immunity. so even if you get the jab you could still have it with not much symptoms and be a spreader and worst of all not know this fact …now this is very dangerous with something that is so contagious. So you have a false security thinking you are immune to catching COVID due to being jabbed. So in fact you could be getting on a plane full of vaccinated silent carriers (so to speak).

    The vaccines manufacturers are basically saying we are getting great results but yet we do not have any peer review on trials. We are blindly taking the word of the vaccine manufacturers, in other words ‘How can the vaccine trials be 90% effective for COVID as there is no effective method available for testing the results’

    • 0

      Vinn I do wish you would stop posting such ill informed opinion as facts.

      The vaccine does NOT just diminish symptoms at all. It prevents up to 95% of those vaccinated from contracting and transmitting COVID-19. The remaining 5% may still contract the infection.

      The fact is with ANY vaccination you need better than 70% efficacy and better that 94% of the population vaccinated to create herd immunity which is what vaccination is all about.
      These COVID-19 vaccinations are performing at a much higher efficacy rate and across all age groups.

      The peer reviews are underway with results due to be published shortly. You are simply perpetuating the conspiracy theories that “Big Pharma” is up to dastardly deeds and everything is being fast tracked to line their pockets. The facts are that the only shortcuts being taken is in the red tape. The approval bodies round the world have been given interim results in advance of the formal application which means the registration process has already been started making final data and approval much faster to assess.
      The Oxford vaccine is now going back for further trials as a result of a ‘ mistake’ in the Brazil trial that saw people only receive half the recommended dose for the first vaccination and the full amount for the second. Their results have shown to be ‘ better’ than the trials in other countries that had the full requirement in both doses. If this turns out to be verified then that is a good thing. If the trials were not as rigorous as they are for safety and efficacy this anomaly would not have been found. There are no shortcuts being taken with any of the vaccinations so far.

  6. 0

    There was a time you couldn’t come to Australia unless you’d had a smallpox vaccine. Sensible people get vaccinations now before travelling to countries where Hepatitus and other diseases are rife. I see no difference. Easy to catch a cold on a plane at the best of times. Good idea, and I hope we make it mandatory for visitors to Australia

  7. 0

    Well done Qantas for protecting to silent majority. In the past you needed Smallpox, Yellow Fever, Cholera vaccines and more to travel. Everyone just got on an did it to protect themselves and everyone else. This is no different but now we have the Australian TGA who will not approve treatments until they are satisfied with their effectiveness and safety. If people don’t want to abide by Qantas’s guidelines let them try to find another airline.

  8. 0

    I and my family have flown Qantas both domestic and International many times, but that little Irish leprechaun won’t be seeing us on board ever again.

    • 0

      All airlines will be the same – so you might have to go overseas by ship; but, hey, they are no longer allowed here. Singapore Airlines are holding our money for future travel and you can bet we need a vaccination before travelling.



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