Qantas boss Alan Joyce yesterday said he would require passengers on future Qantas international services to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“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.”
“On international (flights), we are being very optimistic about a vaccine. We think with the rollout of a vaccine next year, we’re optimistic that we could see the borders opening up quite significantly through 2021.”
“I think that’s going to be a common thing. Talking to my colleagues around the globe, I think it is going to be a common thing across the board.
“What we are looking at is how you can have a vaccination passport, an electronic version of it, that certifies what the vaccine is, is it acceptable in the country you are traveling to?
“There’s a lot of logistics, a lot of technology, that will need to be put into place to make this happen, but the airlines and the governments are working on this as we speak.”
Qantas is currently doing a round of repatriation flights across Europe.
“What’s great about those repatriation flights that we’re now doing from Europe, in particular, is that we are doing a test before people get on the aircraft, a PCR test.
“We are doing then, a test in Darwin, which hopefully will allow us to determine whether (the compulsory) 14 day quarantine is too long, can we make it shorter than that?”
Qantas has also been testing wastewater from these repatriation flights for traces of COVID-19.
“We’re actually testing the waste water on the aircraft to check if somebody on the aircraft had COVID-19, and that’s proving to have some very promising results.
“There’s a lot of activity that’s taking place. So, if we don’t get travel bubbles, if we don’t get a vaccine, then testing is the way to try to reduce the amount of time that’s spent in quarantine.”
“But hopefully, and I think the hypothesis that the scientists have, is that if we could get the data showing that if you had the right testing regime, we could get that 14 days down to a lot shorter time.
“If that happens, it makes it more viable.”
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