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Qantas’ controversial COVID policy

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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