The head of Australia’s Qantas Airways has said his airline plans to require all international travelers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before boarding their flights, and predicted similar policies would be adopted worldwide.
In a television interview with Australian news program A Current Affair, Alan Joyce explained that a coronavirus jab may not be necessary for domestic air travel, but that it would be a “necessity” for international flights entering and leaving Australia.
We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say, for international travelers, that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft.
Compulsory vaccination will likely become a new reality for international travelers around the world, Joyce added.
I think that’s going to be a common thing talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe.
The CEO said Qantas has already begun determining whether it is necessary to impose a two-week quarantine on travelers arriving in Australia. He added that the airline is already testing the wastewater on its aircraft for Covid-19 as an extra precaution.
Joyce has previously warned air travel will not return to pre-pandemic levels until a coronavirus vaccine is widely available. In October, he cautioned that Qantas would only resume flights to the UK and United States once a jab reaches the market, “given the prevalence of the virus in both countries.”
The idea of creating Covid-19 “passports” that would allow vaccinated or presumably immune individuals from traveling freely has been floated since nearly the start of the health crisis. Speaking at the G20 summit last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed introducing globally-recognized health QR codes, saying it would help to restore coronavirus-hit international trade and travel.
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