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Qantas Will Only Let Passengers Fly Overseas If They've Had a COVID-19 Vaccination

When international travel to and from Australia resumes, of course.
By Sarah Ward
November 24, 2020
By Sarah Ward
November 24, 2020

Since the Australia Government introduced an effective and indefinite ban on international travel back in March to help stop the spread of COVID-19, no one has been heading overseas for a holiday. There has been plenty of talk since about what the future of global trips might hold over that time, of course. It's expected that the country's international borders unlikely to reopen until next year, for instance, while the entire international tourism industry isn't predicted to return to normal until 2023.

If you plan to jet overseas via Qantas once you're able to, the airline's chief has advised one requirement you'll have to adhere to as well: you'll need to have had a COVID-19 vaccination. Speaking on A Current Affair on Monday, November 23, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said that the airline is "looking at changing our terms and conditions to say, for international travellers, that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft".

"Certainly for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country, we think that's a necessity," Joyce said. But when asked if the requirement would also apply for local flights, he wasn't certain. "Whether you need that domestically, we'll have to see what will happen with COVID-19 and the market," he advised.

That means you'll need to add one more thing to your pre-travel checklist — with Joyce's statement coming at a time when a COVID-19 vaccine looks closer to becoming a reality. In the past few weeks, the companies behind three different vaccine candidates have announced positive results from their ongoing clinical trials, covering potential immunisations developed by Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. As a result, there is currently hope that vaccines might be able to start being rolled out in the new year.

When you are able to receive a jab, it won't cost you a cent, as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison flagged back in August. Obviously, the government won't provide further details about how everyone will get vaccinated until a working vaccine actually exists.

For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Australia, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Published on November 24, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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