Qantas to require mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for international flights

Qantas Airways Chief Executive Officer has announced that the Australian flag carrier is planning to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all international travelers boarding their flights.

In an interview with Australian television news program, Alan Joyce said that a coronavirus shot may not be necessary for domestic flights, but that it would be a “necessity” for international flights entering and leaving Australia. 

Qantas chief predicted that similar policies would be adopted worldwide, and compulsory vaccination will likely become a new reality for international travelers around the world. 

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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